Foreign Relations | Speeches

Unity and Diversity: Keeping South Asia Together

Hindustan Times Leadership Initiative

New Delhi, India

November 5, 2004

I consider it my privilege to participate in this most interesting event - The Leadership Initiative, organized by the Hindustan Times Group. I wish to thank Madam Shobhana Bhartia and the organizing committee for the warm welcome and the hospitality extended to us. I have no doubt that the presence of many distinguished participants in the seminar, together with the excellent arrangements made for it, will prove it to be most interesting and constructive....

Successes and Challenges Ahead for SAARC

12th SAARC Summit

Islamabad, Pakistan

January 4, 2004

It gives me great pleasure to be present here, in this beautiful city of Islamabad, to attend the 12th SAARC Summit. I avail myself of this opportunity to thank His Excellency President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Jamali and the Government of Pakistan for the warm welcome and the generous hospitality that my delegation and I have been privileged to receive. The excellent arrangements made for this Summit would, I am assured, contribute to the success of this meeting...

Vision for Sustainable Economic Growth

East Asia Economic Summit

Singapore, Singapore

October 12-14, 2003

I take this opportunity to first express my gratitude to the President and Directors of the World Economic Forum for inviting me to its East Asia Economic Summit and for giving me this valuable occasion to express our Vision and our Plans for Peace and Sustainable Economic Development, for Sri Lanka in particular and South Asia in general. The theme of this Summit – “Asia’s future recapturing dynamism” is most appropriate at this particular period of Asia’s history....

Maldives-Sri Lanka Relations

Banquet in Honor of Maldivian President

Colombo, Sri Lanka

May 6, 2003

I have the honour and privilege to welcome Your Excellency President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Madam Gayoom Sri Lanka on this State visit. Your visit to Sri Lanka and the official talks a short while ago have enabled us to review the existing excellent relations and the positive cooperation between our two countries. I also welcome Hon. Fathulla Jameel, Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as other members of the delegation of Maldives...

Bangladesh-Sri Lanka Relations

State Dinner Hosted by President Professor Iajuddin Ahmed

Bangabhaban, Dhaka, Bangladesh

April 19, 2003

Permit me to express my sincere gratitude for your warm words of welcome and the kind sentiments expressed by Your Excellency on Sri Lanka, its people and myself. Let me also convey my appreciation as well as that of my delegation for the excellent arrangements made for our visit to your lovely country and for the particularly warm hospitality extended to us....

A New Vision for NAM

13th Conference of the Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

February 24, 2003

Permit me first to express my deep gratitude to His Excellency Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and the Government of Malaysia for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us. We greatly appreciate the excellent arrangements made for this 13th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement....

Commitment to Strengthening SAARC

17th Anniversary of the Signing of the Charter of SAARC

Colombo, Sri Lanka

December 8, 2002

Seventeen years ago on 8th December 1985, the Heads of State of the Seven South Asian Countries signed a Charter to establish the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), to promote peace, stability, amity and progress in the region through regional cooperation....

Croatia-Sri Lanka Relations

Banquet in Honor of President of Croatia Stjepan Mesić

Colombo, Sri Lanka

November 16, 2002

It is my great pleasure and privilege to welcome President Stjepan Mesić, Madame Milka Mesić and your delegation to Sri Lanka. We are glad that President Mesić included Sri Lanka in the itinerary of his Asian tour. We are particularly honoured by your gracious presence with us today and I am sure, that this first visit by a Croatian Head of State to Sri Lanka will further strengthen the excellent relations between our two countries....

Pakistan-Sri Lanka Relations

Banquet in Honour of President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf

Colombo, Sri Lanka

July 31, 2002

It is my great honour and privilege to welcome President Pervez Musharraf and Madam Begum Sehba Musharraf to Sri Lanka. I also bid a warm welcome to Hon. Abdul Razak Dawood - Minister for Commerce, Industries and Production; Hon. Nisar A Memon - Minister for Information & Media Development; Hon. Ms. Shahida Jamil - Minister for Environment, Local Government & Rural Development; Hon. Inam Ul Haq - Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, as well as the other distinguished members of the delegation of Pakistan....

Developments in the SAARC Process: Gains and Lapses

11th SAARC Summit

Kathmandu, Nepal

January 5, 2002

It is with a great sense of happiness and joy that I am present here today in this historic city of the Himalayan Kingdom, Kathmandu. I take this opportunity to thank His Majesty’s Government of Nepal – in particular, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, as well as the people of Nepal, for the warm welcome and the generous hospitality that I and my delegation have been privileged to receive from the time of arrival here, as well as for the excellent arrangements made for this Summit...

Terrorism and Global Cooperation

SAARC Statement on Terrorism

Colombo, Sri Lanka

October 30, 2001

Many critical developments have taken place since the horrendous terrorist attacks committed against the United States on 11 September 2001. The attacks have been strongly condemned by all South Asian countries including Sri Lanka which currently serves as Chairperson of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)...

China-Sri Lanka Relations

Banquet in Honor of His Excellency Premier Zhu Rongji

Colombo, Sri Lanka

May 17, 2001

It is my great pleasure to welcome Your Excellency, Madam Lao An and your delegation to Sri Lanka. Although there has been a constant flow of visits by senior leaders of your country to Sri Lanka, it is more than a decade since Sri Lanka has had the privilege of hosting visit by a Premier of China. We are, therefore, particularly honoured by your gracious presence with us today...

Bavaria-Sri Lanka Relations

Dinner Hosted by Bavarian Ministers

Munich, Bavaria, Germany

March 15, 2001

Let me thank you most sincerely for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and the members of my delegation during our current visit to your beautiful state of Bavaria. I am also immensely grateful for this dinner organised in our honour and for the presence, on this occasion, of a member of dignitaries from the State of Bavaria. I am profoundly moved by the warm sentiments and the kind words expressed by you....

German-Sri Lanka Relations

Dinner Hosted by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany

Berlin, Germany

March 13, 2001

Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and the members of my delegation. I am also immensely grateful for this splendid dinner organised in our honour with the participation of a number of dignitaries from out country. I am deeply touched by the warm sentiments and the kind words expressed by Your Excellency on Sri Lanka, its people and myself.

"We hope that a multi-polar world would become a reality"

G-15 Summit

Montego Bay, Jamaica

February 12, 1999

"Our sojourn on this delightful Island in the sun is drawing to a close. I am certain that I reflect the sentiments of all my colleagues when I state that we have felt very much at home in these seafront surroundings. We have to thank most sincerely our hosts for the painstaking work that they have engaged in over the past several months leading to this Summit that has made our conference so productive and our stay so comfortable...

Mission for Joining the G-15

G-15 Summit

Montego Bay, Jamaica

February 10, 1991

"Our sojourn on this delightful Island in the sun is drawing to a close. I am certain that I reflect the sentiments of all my colleagues when I state that we have felt very much at home in these seafront surroundings. We have to thank most sincerely our hosts for the painstaking work that they have engaged in over the past several months leading to this Summit that has made our conference so productive and our stay so comfortable...

Developments in South Asian Region

SAARC Inter-Summit Session

Colombo, Sri Lanka

December 28, 1998

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the council of Ministers back to Sri Lanka, this time for their inter-summit Session. The council Last met in our country in July 1998 just prior to the commencement of the 10th SAARC Summit. At this inter-Summit Session, Which Takes Place at The Halfway mark in Sri Lanka's tenure of the Chair of the association, it is only natural That We should We should look back to the situation that prevailed just over eight months ago when the Colombo Summit was due to commence. ...

Global Cooperation and Economic Development

53rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, USA

September 21, 1998

Permit me to extend to you, Mr. President, Sri Lanka's warmest congratulations on your well-deserved election. We wish you well and have no doubt that you will guide the work of this session with wisdom, skill and commitment....

International Terrorism and Security

12th Non-Aligned Movement Summit

Durban, South Africa

September 2, 1998

I wish to convey to Your Excellency President Mandela, the Government and people of South Africa, my sincere appreciation of the warm hospitality extended to us, and the excellent arrangements which have been made to ensure the success of this conference...

Common Quest for Economic Development

10th SAARC Summit

Colombo, Sri Lanka

July 29, 1998

I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Your Excellencies for the tribute you have paid to the people of Sri Lanka by so readily agreeing to hold the 10th SAARC Summit in Colombo in this, the Golden Jubilee Year of Sri Lanka's Independence. Your decision to commemorate this occasion in fellowship with the people of Sri Lanka serves to underline an essential sense of family that binds the nations of South Asia, notwithstanding the paradox of the immense diversity that is also a characteristic of this region....

Reflection on SAARC's First 10 Years

9th SAARC Summit

Male, Maldives

May 14, 1997

This is indeed a noteworthy occasion Mr. Chairman, for you are the first regional Leader who has been elected to preside over the work of our Association for a second term. Allow me at the very outset therefore, to convey to you my heartiest congratulations, and to express my fullest confidence that under your tutelage, SAARC will be enabled to made significant progress. Your innate wisdom and wide experience of world affairs stand reinforced by your exceptionally deep knowledge of the SAARC process, encompassing as it does your involvement with it from its inception. It also bears mention here, that His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuk and you are the only regional Leaders present on this occasion, today, who were also present at the historic launching of SAARC at Dhaka, in December, 1985....