Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen on Tuesday requested for Sri Lankan government's assistance in improving consular services for the large Maldivian community residing in the neighbouring country.
The president, who is in Sri Lanka on a three-day state visit, made the request during a courtesy call by Sri Lankan external affairs minister G. L. Peiris.
President Yameen and Peiris exchanged views on further enhancing bilateral ties between the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Highlighting the historical, good neighbourly ties and mutual respect between the two countries, deliberations focused on advancing development cooperation and commercial interactions in the time ahead.
Peiris congratulated President Yameen on his election victory, and welcomed the prevalent peace and stability in the country since the change in leadership. He noted that Sri Lanka had personally experienced the transformation in economic fortunes associated with prolonged stability and domestic peace and harmony. He elaborated that, as such, the Sri Lankan government had every confidence that President Yameen's aspirations for accelerated economic growth would materialise, particularly through a manifold increase in foreign investment targeted at the ambitious mega projects earmarked under the new administration’s manifesto.
President Yameen commended his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa for his leadership and insight in bringing about a revolutionary change in the country's socioeconomic development. He assured Sri Lanka of the Maldives' continued steadfast support to Sri Lanka at international and regional forums of common membership.
The president also noted the importance of forging stronger regional ties in improving collective bargaining in the international arena, and shared his vision of a prosperous South Asia. He also highlighted the need to increase bilateral cooperation in selected areas of development, including tourism, trade and fisheries.
Minister Peiris spoke on the tremendous potential for increased trade and investment, which he noted would be of tremendous benefit to both the countries. He also assured the Maldivian president of Sri Lanka's commitment to support the Maldives in key areas of development, including education and health.
President Yameen was accompanied at the call by foreign minister Dunya Maumoon, minister at the president’s office Mohamed Hussain Shareef, tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb, Maldivian high commissioner in Sri Lanka Hussain Shihab, foreign secretary Dr Ali Naseer Mohamed and director at the foreign ministry Farzana Zahir.
Peiris was joined at the call by senior urban affairs minister A. H. M. Fowzie, Sri Lankan high commissioner in the Maldives Dixon Dela and foreign secretary Kshenuka Seneviratne.(haveeru.com)