Saturday, October 1, 2022

Sri Lanka to close its missions in Norway, Iraq and Australia amid economic crisis

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Sri Lanka has ordered the closure of its missions in several countries as the country faces an unprecedented economic crisis. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has decided to close its embassies in Norway and Iraq along with the Consulate General in Sydney, Australia with effect from April 30. The ministry said in a statement, “Following a recent decision by the Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has initiated action to temporarily close down the Sri Lanka Embassy in Oslo, the Kingdom of Norway; the Sri Lanka Embassy in Baghdad, the Republic of Iraq; and the Sri Lanka Consulate General in Sydney, the Commonwealth of Australia; with effect from 30 April 2022.”

The ministry said that the decision is aimed at restructuring Sri Lanka’s diplomatic relations in view of the current economic situation of the country. “The decision with regard to the temporary closure of the two Missions and Post was taken by the Government of Sri Lanka following careful deliberation. It is part of a general restructuring of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic representation overseas, undertaken by the Foreign Ministry in the context of the current economic situation and foreign currency constraints faced by the country,” said the statement by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry also stressed that the closure of the missions would not affect the bilateral ties with the host countries. The ministry stated, “The decision to close the resident Missions in Norway and Iraq, undertaken as a temporary measure in the current context, would not in any way impinge upon Sri Lanka’s bilateral relations with the two countries which are maintained at an optimum level of friendship and cordiality.”

The Foreign Ministry also announced that the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Stockholm, Sweden will be concurrently accredited to Norway, and the Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates will be concurrently accredited to Iraq following the closure of the missions. The consular jurisdiction of the Consulate General in Sydney will revert to the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra, Australia in order to continue carrying out the routine work of the diplomatic missions.

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