Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy, Nawalage Bennet Cooray, presented Credentials, accrediting him as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Italy to Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Republic of Italy at the Presidential Palace in Rome on 30 October.
For the presentation, Ambassador Cooray together with Mrs. G. Indikadahena, Minister (Commercial), Mrs. R.M. S. Bulathwela, Minister (Consular) and Mrs. A. Obadage, Attache, accompanied the ceremonial motorcade to the Presidential Palace.
Upon arrival at the Palace, the Ambassador and delegation were received by the Chief of President Guard, following which the Ambassador was afforded a Red Carpet welcome and a Guard of Honour by the Palace Guards.
Ambassador Cooray was introduced to the President by Ambassador Stefano Ronca, the Chief of Protocol of the Italian Republic.
After presenting Credentials, Ambassador Cooray had an exchange of views with the President Giorgio Napolitano during which he conveyed the best wishes of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Italian President and for the well being and progress of the people of Italy.
At the discussion that ensued at the conclusion of the credentials ceremony, Ambassador Cooray traced the historic relations between Italy and Sri Lanka and appreciated that Sri Lanka has been immensely benefitted from the constructive contribution, generous support and cooperation Italy has extended to Sri Lanka in many fronts, such as in the areas of trade, education, healthcare, social services and post-conflict development in the country, in particular in labour migration and retention of GSP+ trade concessions and sought closer trade and economic cooperation between Sri Lanka and Italy to fully exploit the vast potential for further expansion of trade between the two countries.
He highlighted the great potential that both Italy and Sri Lanka possess in furthering relations, especially in trade, agricultural, tourism and technical sectors.
While responding, the President of Italy expressed his government’s sincere appreciation on the assistance given by Sri Lanka at the time devastating earthquake took place in 2012 in Emilia-Romagna region, by donating a consignment of tea by Sri Lanka. This donation was channelled through the International Bureau of the Italian Civil Protection Department to be distributed among the earthquake victims in the region of Emilia-Romagna.
Ambassador Cooray briefed the president on the rapid progress that Sri Lanka has made on numerous fronts since the end of the conflict in 2009. Ambassador stated that Sri Lanka builds on a new era of peace, stability and equality, where the multicultural, multi-religious and multiethnic dimension that the country is renowned takes primacy and the pivotal role that can be played by the international community, including Italy is been readily recognized.