Switzerland hopeful of resuming positive cooperation with Sri Lanka

100

Switzerland has expressed its expectations for a swift return to an environment conducive to resuming the positive cooperation with Sri Lanka as the bilateral relations between the two countries were marred by the incident involving a staffer of its embassy in Colombo.

Issuing a diplomatic note, the Foreign Ministry and the Swiss Embassy said the two countries have maintained excellent relations for decades, and have engaged in substantial cooperation in a variety of fields, to the benefit of both countries and their populations. “Both countries value these relations greatly.”

In the last few weeks, this relationship was marred by misunderstandings surrounding an incident involving a local staff member of the Embassy, who was subsequently taken into custody by the Sri Lankan authorities, the note continued.

“In this context, uncorroborated facts made it into the public domain, putting an unnecessary strain on the otherwise cordial relationship between the two countries. At no point during this time did Switzerland have the intention of tarnishing the image of the government of Sri Lanka,” the note emphasized.

The Swiss Embassy says it regrets that these developments have led to the Sri Lankan authorities’ commitment to due process being called into question.

It reaffirmed that Switzerland, like Sri Lanka, is committed to upholding good governance and the rule of law. “The Embassy hopes for a swift return to an environment conducive to resuming the positive cooperation between Switzerland and Sri Lanka,” the note read further.

The Swiss Embassy, who recognizes that local staff is subject to local laws, says it is convinced that both sides will remain attentive to the working conditions and the wellbeing of all staff of diplomatic missions.

Switzerland has recalled that it is the responsibility of any government to protect the diplomatic missions of other states on its territory.

“Attaching great importance to its relationship with Sri Lanka, committed to maintaining and to further strengthening these relations in a constructive manner, and convinced that both countries will together continue to build relations which are based on mutual respect, the Embassy of Switzerland in Colombo avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka the assurances of its highest consideration.”