President Mahmud Abbas of State of Palestine and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed on the need to further strengthening good relations between the two countries at bilateral talks between them held at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo today.
The two leaders emphasized attention on the need for the further develop relations between political, economic and cultural spheres for the benefit of people of both countries.
President Abbas who appreciated the continued support shown by Sri Lanka to Palestinian cause said he is happy to see Sri Lanka is now stabilized in state of peace and moving towards prosperity.
"This has happened under your leadership and I believe next year and the future will be much better for Sri Lanka under your guidance," he said.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas who is on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka was warmly welcomed by President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo. A guard of honour was accorded in the honor of the Palestinian President.
President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka appreciates the Palestinian Foreign Relations Commission for expressing solidarity and support during Sri Lanka's war against terrorism.
President Rajapaksa invited Palestinian business community to explore opportunities to invest in Sri Lanka as the country is now experiencing the benefits of peace.
Sri Lanka is happy to be associated with providing assistance in the field of education in Palestine and currently Sri Lanka is funding a project to train pre-school and grade one teachers in the Palestinian Education Department and has also granted scholarships for needy students, President Rajapaksa added.
President Rajapaksa expressed the possibility of offering further opportunities to Palestinian students to pursue studies in the fields of medicine and engineering.
The means of enhancing the co-operation in the field tourism were also taken up for discussion.
Two leaders further discussed the long standing friendship between Sri Lanka and Palestine and matters relating to the development of diplomatic co-operation between the two countries.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr. Riyad Al- Maliki proposed the following to expand the bilateral relations between the two countries. They are in setting up of a joint ministerial committee to improve bilateral relations on political cooperation; a joint business council to bring the business communities of both countries together; a joint action for tourism to encourage tourism ventures in both countries and measures for greater cooperation in higher education especially in exchange programmes on lectures and researchers.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peris, Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Trade and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, Parliamentarian Sajin De Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga and the Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilake Amunugama were also participated on the occasion.