(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Sri Lanka and Afghanistan talked on ways to enhance cooperation in sports and youth exchange programs.
Ambassador M. Ashraf Haidari told Pajhwok Afghan News that he called on Minister of Youth and Sports Namal Rajapaksa (MP) of Sri Lanka today.
In a statement issued from Afghan embassy says, they reviewed the status of the Afghanistan-Sri Lanka Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the Field of Sports, which the two countries had signed in March 2014.
This took place under the former presidency of the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose continued support for deepening people-to-people ties between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
Minister Rajapaksa shared his views on the many opportunities for bilateral cooperation in sports and youth exchange programs, which the Ambassador warmly welcomed.
They particularly took note of Afghanistan’s rising cricket team, whose impressive performance in the regional and international games the dynamic and visionary Minister praised.
However, Afghanistan continues to lack adequate and proper sports facilities, including a proper cricket ground and a golf course, which Minister Rajapaksa generously offered to provide in Sri Lanka, enabling Afghan teams to meet their Sri Lankan counterparts both to exchange skills and to play friendly matches.
Based on the provisions of the MOU—which encourages ‘conduct coaching programs, and participation in tournaments/tours, in the fields of Cricket , Golf , and Football —they agreed to work on a list of initiatives for co-implementation in the coming months.
Ambassador Haidari extended an invitation to Minister Rajapaksa to visit Afghanistan, after the COVID-19 travel restrictions have eased, which he kindly accepted.
Moreover, Ambassador Haidari listened to the insights of the Minister into the importance of win-win regional economic cooperation, in whose light they discussed the growing ties between Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.
The Ambassador pointed out the recently signed cooperation MOU between the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI), which he said should help business communities on both sides to explore and take advantage of numerous investment opportunities in each other’s markets.