RIYADH : It gives me great pleasure to extend my sincere congratulations and heartfelt felicitations to the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister HRH Mohammed bin Salman and people of Saudi Arabia on the happy occasion of the National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The relations between Arabs and the people of Sri Lanka dates back to several centuries. Sri Lanka and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are two friendly nations that share common values and have supported each other in the international fora since the establishment of diplomatic relations in the year 1974.
This year, the year 2023 is another productive year in the relations between the two countries. The visit of Hon Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs early this year has infused positive vibes in our longstanding relations. This was further cemented in the First Session of the Joint Commission held in the middle of this year during which both countries identified 63 items for further cooperation. The agreement on Skill Verification Programme, Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and MoU on Political Consultations were also inked during this year.
I take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the support given by the Saudi Development Fund (SFD) since 1981. The total assistance provided so far is approximately SAR 1.5 billion to develop various sectors in Sri Lanka such as education , health, irrigation, road , community development etc.
Saudi Arabia hosts nearly 200,000 Sri Lankans in the Kingdom.I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Kingdom’s authorities for accommodating Sri Lankans and providing necessary assistance. It is indeed a great moment to witness that the employment for Sri Lankans in the Kingdom is undergoing a qualitative change as semiskilled, skilled and professionals are arriving for employment relatively in big numbers since this year.
We are happy to note that this year national celebrations are on the theme of “We Dream and Achieve “. I am sure all the dreams will become achievable as in the case of Saudi Vision 2030, which has already received global admiration.
Once again our greetings to all the Saudi nationals on this auspicious occasion of their national day