Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka to increase cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka to increase cooperation

Increasing Hajj Quota and employment opportunities under consideration

The Speaker of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council (Parliament), Dr. Abdullah Al-
Asheikh said effective steps would be taken to establish a strong cooperation
between Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka parliaments.

He said this when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the
President’s Office in Colombo today (September 10).

The President thanked the Saudi Speaker for long-term assistance provided
to development activities in Sri Lanka through the Saudi Fund. He also
thanked Saudi Arabia for providing assistance to Muslim Hajj pilgrims who
visit Macca. He requested to increase the Hajj Quota top Sri Lanka. The
Speaker said that the Saudi government has taken steps to increase the
facilities available for pilgrims and the construction works would be
completed next year. He added that the President’s request would be
seriously considered to increase the Hajj Quota to Sri Lanka.

President Sirisena pointed out that 136,000 Sri Lankans are currently
employed in Saudi Arabia. Speaker Al-Asheikh said that Sri Lankan workers
are very popular in his country for their efficiency and his country would take
steps to offer more employment opportunities to Sri Lanka.

Dr Al-Asheikh said that the Kingdom and Sri Lanka shared a similar goal in
combating terrorism which was not related to religion or race. He lauded
Saudi-Sri Lankan bilateral relations which he said were growing stronger
based on cooperation and friendship under the two countries’ leaderships.
The Speaker said that during the visit he aimed to discuss a number of
issues of common interest between the Shoura Council and the Sri Lankan
Parliament.

Speaker Al-Asheikh arrived in Sri Lanka for an official visit on an invitation
by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Secretary to the President, Udya R Seneviratne, Saudi Ambassador to Sri
Lanka Abdul Nasser Al-Harthy and Secretary General of Parliament
Dhammika Dasanayake were also present on this occasion.

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