Maldives, Sri Lanka to sign four agreements

Maldives, Sri Lanka to sign four agreements

The governments of Maldives and Sri Lanka will sign four agreements on the sidelines of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's official visit to the archipelago this week.

The prime minister arrives in Maldives with his spouse Professor Maithree Wickremasinghe and a six-member delegation early Sunday, on the invitation of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid received the delegation from Velana International Airport.

According to Sri Lankan media, the four deals to be signed are:

- Agreement on the facilitation of Visa arrangements

- Memorandum of Understanding on Matters in Higher Education and Water Supply Sectors

- Memorandum of Understanding on Vocational Training and Youth Development

- Memorandum of Understanding on Safeguarding the Promotion of the Rights of Children, Women, Elders as well as Disabled Persons

The agreement to relax Visa conditions between the two nations was proposed by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, and has since been approved by the Sri Lankan Cabinet.

According to media reports, the Visa agreement would allow visa free entry for 90 days, for Maldivians visiting Sri Lanka and vice versa, provided they were in possession of valid passports and sufficient funds.

Under the agreement, the two governments would also grant multiple-entry student visas for individuals enrolled at government-recognised education institutions in the other country.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and President Solih are set to review the existing bilateral ties between the two countries and explore new areas for cooperation, including global matters of mutual importance.

The Sri Lankan PM will also chair the fourth Indian Ocean Conference 2019, scheduled to take place from September 3-4, at Paradise Island Resort.