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Wednesday, June 20 , 2012 - 7.46 GMT
President arrives in Brazil to attend Rio+20


President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Brazil to attend the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20 scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20 - 22.

President Rajapaksa is scheduled to make a statement after the formal opening of the conference today.

President is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of Nepal Baburam Bhattarai, Bhutan Prime Minister Lyonpo Jigme Thinley, President of Chile Sebastian Pinera Echenique and several other leaders on the sidelines of the Rio Conference.

President Rajapaksa arrived in Brazil after concluding a three-day official visit to Cuba.

During his visit to Cuba, the President met with the Cuban leader President Raul Castro and the Vice President Marino Murillo Jorge and held discussions on strengthening the relations between the two countries.

The discussions with the Cuban Vice President have focused on Sri Lanka's current political and social status and economic development.

The two leaders have discussed ways to strengthen health, sports sectors and to develop economic relations between the two countries.

The two countries have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Monday on development of coconut industry in Sri Lanka.

Under the MoU, Cuba using its expertise in nanotechnology will assist Sri Lanka to develop the local coconut cultivation and to eradicate the insect menace affecting the industry. The MOU will cover technical mechanisms for Copra manufacture and manufacture of by-products using coir and production of energy from coconut waste products.

Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris signed the MoU on behalf of Sri Lanka and Cuban Agriculture Minister Gustavo Rodriguez signed on behalf of the host.

President Rajapaksa has also visited the residence of Cuban revolutionary leader Che Guevara in Havana on Monday and met with his widow Aledia, son Camilo and daughter Aledia.

During the meeting President Rajapaksa recalled the visit of late Che Guevara to Sri Lanka and the tree Che planted in Horana. Che's widow presented two books to the President to mark his visit.





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Last modified: June 21, 2012.

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