Four new ambassadors and one high commissioner presented their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (Oct. 30) evening:
1. Mr. Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, Ambassador of Switzerland
2. Mr. Tomasz Lukaszuk, Ambassador of Poland
3. Mr. Tarik Ahsan, High Commissioner of Bangladesh
4. Mr. Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium
5. Mr. Florentino Batista Gonzalez, Ambassador of Cuba
During a discussion with the President, the new diplomats expressed their deepest condolences on behalf of their respective countries on the Koslanda landslides that took place Wednesday (Oct. 29).
They also offered to convey to their governments immediately any request for assistance from Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa, while thanking the countries for their generosity, briefed the diplomats on the relief efforts currently underway.
All five diplomats conveyed to President Rajapaksa an interest towards further enhancing bilateral relations in various sectors.
“There are a lot of Belgian companies interested in investing in Sri Lanka,” Belgian Ambassador Mr. Jan Luykx said. He further added that many of these companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka encourages investment from SMEs and that the Government would like to further develop this sector.
Bangladesh’s new envoy Mr. Tarik Ahsan commented on the National Budget 2015.
“We very much appreciate the budget,” he said. “I think this shows your commitment for inclusive development.”
Mr. Ahsan also assured Bangladesh’s continued support for Sri Lanka.
“'We will continue to support Sri Lanka at international fora,” he said while also requesting Sri Lanka’s support for Bangladesh at various international summits.
Ambassador Walker-Nederkoorn from Switzerland spoke of the long-term economic ties between the two countries.
“I am sure we can further strengthen economic ties,” he said while pointing out that there seems to be increased interest among Swiss tourists to explore Sri Lanka.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga and Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne were present.