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Sri Lanka Balances Support for Two-State Solution in Palestine with Strengthening Ties to Israel

Sri Lanka is delicately navigating its stance on the two-state solution in Palestine while simultaneously enhancing its relations with Israel. Recent developments, including the opening of a Honorary Consulate in Haifa, participation in Red Sea operations, and launching a fund for children affected by the conflict in Gaza, underscore this nuanced approach.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe recently convened a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat with Ambassadors from ten Middle Eastern nations. Throughout the discussions, the President reiterated Sri Lanka’s unwavering commitment to the two-state solution in Palestine.

Simultaneously, Sri Lanka announced its participation in Red Sea operations to counter Houthi attacks, a move met with disapproval from envoys of West Asian countries.

Further expanding its presence in Israel, Sri Lanka inaugurated the Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka for Haifa and Northern Israel. Haifa, known for its historical and architectural heritage, serves as a significant trade and industrial hub in Northern Israel. Dr. Anat Bernstein-Reich, the newly appointed Honorary Consul, has been actively engaged with Sri Lanka for over 15 years in trade and tourism promotion activities.

The opening ceremony of the Honorary Consulate witnessed the participation of esteemed dignitaries, including Ambassador Gil Haskel – Chief of State Protocol of the State of Israel, Nimal Bandara – Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the State of Israel, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, among others.

Haifa, with its cultural and technical significance, hosts a vibrant Sri Lankan community, comprising around 2,000 migrant workers. The city serves as a center for Jewish culture and a prominent Technical and IT Hub in Israel.

The Sri Lankan mission in Tel Aviv issued a statement on March 4, 2024, highlighting the significance of the newly established consulate and the strong ties between Sri Lanka and Israel. Source –

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