Sri Lankan Prime Minister arrives in Maldives

Sri Lankan Prime Minister arrives in Maldives

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe has arrived in Maldives.

The Prime Minister arrived with his wife and a high-level delegation on Monday.

They were greeted by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and First Lady Fazna Ahmed and a welcoming performance by Maldivian school students as well as a seven-gun salute by military officers.

Afterwards, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe was escorted to the President’s Office, where governments of both countries signed agreements, including the facilitation of visa arrangements, which will free 90-day on-arrival visas for visitors between the two countries will continue to be provided. Nationals of either country wishing to conduct business and pursue investments can be granted multiple entry non-resident business visas, thereby facilitating commercial engagements and private sector collaboration. Further, this agreement will also facilitate multiple entry visas for Maldivian students enrolled in Sri Lankan educational institutes, and for their parents and legal guardians provided the students in question are under eighteen years of age.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate on in the area of Social Protection, Higher Education, and Vocational Training and Youth Development.

Afterwards, President Solih and Prime Minister Wickremasinghe delivered a joint press statement at the President’s Office. In their statements, both leaders highlighted the enduring friendship that defines the relationship between Sri Lanka and the Maldives This, in turn, both leaders noted, has contributed to the excellent cooperation that exists between the two countries. They also expressed satisfaction at the substance and pace of cooperation on the international fora, bilaterally and multilaterally, since the President’s visit to Sri Lanka in February.

International issues of concern were also discussed. Both countries agreed to redouble the efforts to protect people from the threat of terrorism, with President Solih expressing his deepest sympathies for the people and Government of Sri Lanka for the devastating terrorist attack in February.

The President and Prime Minister also reiterated that climate change is an urgent threat that needs immediate attention in both mitigation and adaption, and agreed on the need to work with all countries to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism within the region and beyond.

After the joint statement, President Solih hosted a luncheon at Kurumba Maldives for the Prime Minister.

During his visit, Prime Minister Wickremasinghe is scheduled to give an address at the Maldives parliament on Tuesday, 9:30am, and will also be chairing the Indian Ocean Conference to be held at Paradise Island Resort.