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Sunny Side Up: Afghan Envoy’s disappointment

Ambassador to Afghanistan in Sri Lanka Ashraf Haidari is reportedly quite disgruntled over his failed efforts.

Haidari had stated that despite his efforts to build a bridge between Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, no such efforts have been made on Sri Lanka’s part.

He made this observation in response to a question posed in an interview that was widely circulated on social media.

Haidari explained that he has tried on numerous occasions to get Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to engage, both economically and commercially, on many areas of co-operation, and considers himself to be the only ambassador in Sri Lanka who has managed to secure Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), despite the last few years in Sri Lanka being eventful, with the Easter Sunday attacks and the Covid-19 pandemic.

He had further noted that Sri Lanka has been very reluctant to engage with countries like Afghanistan, even when it comes to granting tourist visas to Afghans.

“In any bilateral relationship, both countries need to have citizens commuting between the countries, whereas Afghans are unable to secure a tourist visa to Sri Lanka despite having all the documentation in place,” Haidari had added.