Qatar to provide Arabic language training to Lankans

The government of Qatar has, on a request made by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama agreed to provide Arabic language training for Sri Lankans.

Minister Bogollagama on Monday, the final day of his visit to Qatar, met Qatari Minister of Awqaf/Endowments and Islamic Affairs, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Marri and requested for assistance to provide adequate Arabic language training to Sri Lankans seeking employment in Qatar.

Currently, an estimated 130,000 Sri Lankan expatriates work in that country, at various levels, both in the private and public sectors.

Having an exposure to the Arabic language, the Bogollagama said, would enable such personnel to interact even better and contribute immensely towards improving inter-personnel communication skills. Minister Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Marri also agreed to pursue the possibility of signing a wide ranging cultural agreement between the two countries during the forthcoming visit of the Emir of Qatar to Sri Lanka. Responding to a proposal made by the Sri Lankan Minister, the Minister of Awqaf, Endowments and Islamic Affairs agreed to set up a mechanism towards building an Islamic Centre in Sri Jayawardenapura, Kotte.

The Foreign Minister met the Minister of Labour, Dr. Sultan Bin Hassen al-Dhabit al-Dousari, who briefed him on the excellent contributions made by Sri Lankan expatriate workers in Qatar over the years. He recalled his recent visit to Sri Lanka during which an additional Agreement on Manpower was signed in January 2008.

Under Article 16 of this Agreement, a Joint Committee has been established. Both parties agreed that its joint meeting be held in Colombo in April 2009.

During his call on Sheikh Fahad bin Jassim bin Mohamed al Abdurrahamn al-Thani, Minister of Business and Trade, the Bogollagama emphasized the need for a comprehensive economic element be made part of the agenda for the state visit of the Emir of Qatar to Sri Lanka in May this year. Agreeing to this proposal Minister al-Thami told him that a draft Economic Cooperation Agreement and a draft Investment Protection Agreement would be submitted to Sri Lanka for consideration.

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