Sri Lanka – Bangladesh agree to promote maritime cooperation

The newly appointed High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka Tareq Md. Ariful Islam representing presented his credentials to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning, stated the President's Media Division.

During the ensuing discussion, explaining the current economic situation in Sri Lanka and the steps taken by the Government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic President Rajapaksa stated that it is his intention to promote bilateral relations in identified areas with countries in the region including Bangladesh to the highest possible level.

President pointed out that there is a great potential for the development of maritime cooperation as States in the Indian Ocean. The new High Commissioner said his country had made it a high priority. Agriculture and export crops promotion, tourism, education and trade relations were named by the President as other areas that the relations could be expanded. Enhancing educational cooperation at the university level is a necessity, President added.

The High Commissioner said that a large number of Sri Lankan students are already pursuing higher education in Bangladesh and his country was ready to expand educational opportunities for Sri Lanka in a mutually beneficial manner. Stating that no Sri Lankan Head of State had visited Bangladesh since 2018, Islam recalled an earlier invitation to President Rajapaksa to pay an official visit to his country.

President Rajapaksa emphasizing the need for strengthening relations at the Head of State level said he would consider the invitation once the current difficult period is over. Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage were also
joined the discussion.

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