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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Bahrain Prime Minister’s visit enhances Lanka – Bahrain bilateral relationship

[caption id="attachment_3247" align="alignright" width="460" caption="Bahrain Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa at the meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat. "] Bahrain Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa at the meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat. [/caption]

Colombo, 30 July, ( Bahrain commends Sri Lankan President for his dauntless and exemplary leadership in running the country and defeating terrorism that plagued the country well over three generations.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a true friend of Arabs, welcomed the visiting Prime Minister of Bahrain yesterday.

The visiting Bahrain Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa who met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat said, "The defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was both admirable and commendable, as well as an example to other countries facing this threat to."“

The Prime Minister of Bahrain made these observations when President Mahinda Rajapaksa apprised him of the situation in Sri Lanka after the defeat of terrorism and current steps being taken to resettle and rehabilitate more than 280000 persons internally displaced following the humanitarian military operations to defeat terrorism.

President Rajapaksa described steps being taken by the Sri Lankan government, together with United Nations and international relief organizations, to expedite the resettlement and rehabilitation of the IDPs, and the massive reconstruction work involved in this process. He said the government was working to a plan to resettle these people expeditiously and also provide them with suitable livelihood opportunities.

The Prime Minister of Bahrain appreciated the work being done for resettlement of the IDPs and the manner in which the government of Sri Lanka was proceeding with reconstruction in a large area of the country, destroyed by terrorism.

He said that Bahrain would have discussions with other countries of the region as well as the larger world community to keep them informed of the commendable work being done by Sri Lanka and the need to give assistance to Sri Lanka for this purpose.

President Rajapaksa thanked the Government of Bahrain for the valuable support extended to Sri Lanka at the recent Special Session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva.

He welcomed investment from Bahrain in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka following restoration of peace in these regions, and looked forward to a high level delegation from Bahrain to explore investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

President Rajapaksa also invited the Government of Bahrain to facilitate the promotion of tourism to Sri Lanka, in view of Sri Lanka being an attractive destination for tourists.

The Sri Lankan President also mentioned the opportunities for Bahrain investors to set up a large refinery and establish an oil storage facility consisting of 100-200 tanks for supplying oil to Far East. He said Sri Lanka’s strategic position and the availability of deep sea port facilities in Colombo, Trincomalee and Hambantota, makes it an ideal location for an oil refinery/storage facility.

He welcomed financial assistance from the Bahrain Industrialization Funds for Developing Countries to the Cross Country Pipeline Project (CCPP) and Offshore Pipeline Project under the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.

The two leaders agreed on the importance of expanding bilateral trade between the two countries.

President Rajapaksa thanked the Kingdom of Bahrain for providing a productive environment for around 25,000 Sri Lankan workers to work there peacefully. They are contributing significantly to the economy of both of our countries, he said.

In the meantime several bilateral agreements in the fields of Foreign Affairs, Economics, Trade and Technical Cooperation and Tourism were signed on July 29 between Sri Lanka and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

* Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance Foreign Affairs between the two countries.

* MoU was signed by the visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, Shaikh Mohamed Bin Mubarak Al Khalifa and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama to boost Economics, Trade and Technical ties between the two countries.

* MoU on Tourism Cooperation between the two countries was signed by the Minister of Tourism, Nandana Gunatillake on behalf of the Government and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The signings took place at the Presidential Secretariat and were witnessed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

- Asian Tribune -

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