Sri Lanka, Bangladesh agree to promote maritime cooperation
The newly appointed High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka Tariq Mohamed Ariful Islam presented his credentials to President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House this morning (11), the President’s Media Division said.
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 to the maximum in identified areas with countries in the region including Bangladesh to the highest possible level.
The President pointed out that there is great potential for the development of maritime cooperation as states in the Indian Ocean. The new High Commissioner said his country had given it a high priority.
The President named Agriculture and Export Crop Promotion, Tourism, Education and Trade as other areas that could be expanded. He said that educational cooperation at the university level is a top priority.
Noting that a large number of Sri Lankan students are already pursuing higher education in Bangladesh, the new High Commissioner said that he was ready to expand his country’s educational opportunities for Sri Lanka in a mutually beneficial manner.
Mentioning that no Sri Lankan head of state has visited Bangladesh since 2018, Mr. Ariful Islam recalled an earlier invitation extended to President Rajapaksa to pay an official visit to his country.
Emphasizing the need for strengthening relations at the Head of State level, the President said that he would consider the invitation once the current difficult period is over.
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage were also present at the discussion.