President's visit strengthens Maldives - Lanka ties
COLOMBO: The purpose of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to
Maldives was to strengthen the existing long-standing friendly relations
between the two countries and to explore further avenues for cooperation
between the two countries, a joint statement issued at the end of the
During the State Visit, the two leaders held a one-to-one meeting and
led the delegations of their respective countries at the official talks
between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The President and the First Lady of
the Maldives held a State banquet in honour of the President and the
First Lady of Sri Lanka.
The delegations of the Maldives and Sri Lanka conducted a business
seminar to identify opportunities for further trade and investment
between the two countries.
At the official talks, the two leaders reviewed the relations between
the two countries and expressed their satisfaction over the
long-standing close ties of friendship between the two countries and
noted that those ties have become stronger in recent decades.
The Maldives delegation expressed appreciation for the important
contribution that Sri Lanka had made over the years for the advancement
of the Maldives, in particular in the area of human resources
The two delegations also noted the growing volume of trade and
investment between the two countries as well as the significant levels
of people-to-people contact which reinforced the traditional ties of
friendship between the two nations.
President Rajapaksa offered to provide 14 scholarships in the
Universities in Sri Lanka and a further 5 slots at a hotel training
school in Lanka for Maldivians every year.
The two delegations agreed that improved air links would be of mutual
benefit and agreed that SriLankan Airlines will be granted fifth freedom
rights to fly to Nairobi and Johannesburg.
The two delegations discussed the growing threat of international
terrorism and agreed that there was scope to supplement international
and regional commitments to combat terrorism through the conclusion of a
The two leaders expressed their concern over threats resulting from
global warming and in particular noted the hazards faced by the Maldives
in this regard and highlighted the need for greater collaboration in
international forums in addressing this challenge.
Two Memorandums of Understanding, one on cooperation in the field of
education and one in the field of cultural cooperation, were signed
between the two countries during the Official Talks.
The two delegations agreed to convene the Joint Commission in 2008.
President's Maldives visit ends on successful note
MALE: President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday ended a three day
official visit to the Maldives on a highly successful note with several
bilateral agreements reached which are of mutual benefit to both
countries especially in the areas of trade, cultural and economic
In addition to the MoUs, bilateral agreements were also singed in
respect of investment promotion, air travel and the resolution of
problems affecting the Fisheries sector. The two leaders also discussed
the current political scene and economic issues.
President Rajapaksa also apprised his Maldivian counterpart of the
development strategies adopted by his new Government.
President Gayoom pledged his country's total support to the
Government's effort to defeat terrorism and usher in peace to Sri Lanka.
Two bilateral agreements were singed during the visit while broad
agreements were reached in the fields of education and cultural
The three day visit brought fruitful results to both countries in
many spheres which also enhanced regional cooperation.
President Rajapaksa also met the Sri Lankan community in the
Maldives. The President's visit was given top priority by the Maldivian
Government. The Lankan leader was also hosted to a State banquet by
The President returned to the country last evening.