Israel stands firmly committed to supporting the development of the country’s economy in the prevailing environment of peace and stability, said Mr. Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel, congratulating Sri Lanka on her achievement in eradicating terrorism.
He made these remarks when Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, called on him at the President’s Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Minister Peiris explained to President Peres the steps being taken by the government of Sri Lanka to carry forward development and reconciliation after the thirty year conflict, and the progress which had been achieved in the different sectors.
He emphasized inclusivity as the basis of Sri Lanka’s approach, with the objective that all the people of the country would benefit from the development now taking place.
The Minister described the benefits flowing from the priority accorded by the government to the improvement of infrastructure, including highways, railroad systems, harbours and airports. He briefed President Peres about the challenges which Sri Lanka is currently facing at the international level.
The President of Israel, reaffirming that his country’s assistance is readily available to Sri Lanka, discussed with the visiting Sri Lankan Minister areas in which inputs from Israel would be of particular value.
President Peres and Minister Peiris discussed Israel’s special expertise with regard to water, and the usefulness of further projects connected with drip irrigation, an area in which Israel has developed sophisticated techniques, and other aids to agricultural productivity.
The other fields identified for collaboration included micro finance for cottage industries and small and medium scale rural projects and skills development among youth by having recourse to information technology. Reference was made to the importance of strengthening links among the business communities in the two countries to operationalize projects in the selected fields rapidly.