Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe engaged in discussions with the Maldives Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef on the sidelines of the recent Third South Summit of the Group of 77 Plus China held in Kampala, Uganda.

The meeting held on Sunday was aimed at fostering cooperation and mutual understanding among participating countries. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together on issues of mutual interest, recognising the importance of regional cooperation.

The meeting between Wickremesinghe and Latheef was the second high-level interaction between the two countries in less than a week. On January 16, Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana, hosted a meeting with a delegation led by Maldivian Parliament Speaker Mohamed Aslam. The meeting marked an official visit by Speaker Aslam at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart.

The Third South Summit serves as the apex organ of the G77 + China alliance. The Kampala summit, held with the theme ‘Leaving No One Behind’ from 18 to 22, aimed to address social crises ranging from poverty to climate change, trade, and investments. This marked the first time the summit has been held in Africa since the second summit 20 years ago in Qatar and the inaugural summit five years earlier in Cuba.

Established 59 years ago with an initial membership of 77 countries, the G77 has since grown to include 134 countries, making it the largest intergovernmental organisation within the UN. Its mission is to promote the collective economic interests of its members.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, is not a full member of the forum; instead, it holds observer status and attends annual meetings.