Sri Lanka President arrived in Turkey on a state visit
Ankara, 02 December, (Asiantribune.com): Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Ankara late on Monday on an official visit at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart,Abdullah Gül.
President Mahnda Rajapaksa and Shirantha Rajapaksa were received by Kemal Onal Governor of Ankara at Ankara Esenboga International Airport when he arrived yesterday evening from Rome.
Sri Lanka’s President whilst in Turkey will hold talks with President Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Speaker Koksal Toptan and several other top level Turkish representatives, today before traveling to Istanbul tomorrow.
President Rajapaksa's visit is expected to open new vistas for existing mutual friendly relations between Sri Lanka and Turkey which is among the 10 leading trading countries in the world.
According to Presidential sources, Turkey's technological and financial assistance towards solving the housing problem in Sri Lanka, development of mutual trade and industrial relations and promoting of cultural relations and tourism between the two nations will figure prominently at the talks where several important mutual agreements will be signed between the delegates of the two countries.
Turkey being a major buyer of Sri Lanka tea, steps to overcome the present crisis in the tea industry will also be discussed at length during these talks.
Immediately after the tsunami disaster the Prime Minister of Turkey visited Sri Lanka bringing aid for the tsunami victims and promised continued assistance towards rebuilding the lives of affected people during talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was then the Prime Minister.
The President will also meet representatives of industries and Turkish businessmen. President Rajapaksa is accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Ministers Rohitha Bogollagama and Mano Wijayaratne and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga.
In the meantime, according to Cihan news agency, earlier, Rajapaksa said in an interview ahead of his departure from Colombo "I'm looking forward to improve our relations with Turkey. I believe that these relations will continue at the highest level via my visit."
Rajapaksa also pledged that his country was ready for bilateral cooperation with Turkey in the fight against terrorism. Sri Lanka's civil war involving the Tamil Tigers has been going on for more than 25 years and shows no sign of abating.
Rajapaksa's administration has made the most military progress of any government in the 25-year war, capturing most of the turf held by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in August 2006.
- Asian Tribune -