Sri Lanka, Malaysia reaffirm determination to take bilateral relations forward

Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia], Dec. 17 : Sri Lanka and Malaysia have expressed satisfaction with the progress made over the years and reaffirmed their determination to take their bilateral relations forward by exploring new areas of cooperation including in political, trade and investment, education, tourism, human resource, training and cultural relations and people-to-people contact.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena undertook an official visit to Malaysia from December15 to 17 at the invitation of the Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

Prime Minister Najib Razak and President Sirisena held in depth discussions on all aspects of Malaysia-Sri Lanka relations, and exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern.

The bilateral discussion between the two leaders was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere. Both leaders recognised the need to engage at the highest level towards further enhancement of bilateral relations between the two countries.

The two sides agreed that every effort will be made to encourage and promote exchanges between Government officials and leaders of private sector with a view to further expand the relations at official and private sector levels.

President Maithripala Sirisena apprised Prime Minister Najib Razak of the current status of the national reconciliation process, constitutional reform and economic development strategies undertaken by the National Unity Government of Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Najib Razak welcomed and appreciated the commitment of the National Unity Government of Sri Lanka to good governance and reconciliation and expressed the support of the Government of Malaysia for Sri Lanka's efforts in this regard.

The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment cooperation, and to deepen their economic engagement for mutual benefits.

President Maithripala Sirisena assured that the Malaysian investors would enjoy a conducive investment climate in Sri Lanka, and invited those Malaysian investors to pro-actively look at the attractive investment opportunities in Sri Lanka.

Both leaders welcomed the significant interest shown by Malaysian companies to partake in the business opportunities provided by Sri Lanka.

Malaysia and Sri Lanka agreed to explore the possibility of initiating the Malaysia-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Both sides reaffirmed their desire to promote greater opportunities for students to pursue their higher studies in each other's country.

The two leaders also acknowledged the increasing two-way tourist movement and recalled the close cultural affinity of the peoples of the two countries, including the presence of a large Sri Lankan community in Malaysia, which is a positive factor in fostering and sustaining current and future linkages to imbue greater dynamism to the friendly relations between Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

Both leaders were unanimous in their rejection of violent extremism, and in expressing their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestation, and called upon all States to reject terrorism and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

Both sides agreed to continue to sharing information and best practices with a view to address the challenges posed by terrorism, and other traditional and non-traditional threats.

The two countries underscored the need to adhere to the main objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and norms of International Law based on trust, equality, and cooperation.

The two leaders emphasized the need for concerted efforts to build confidence and mutual understanding and strengthen stability regionally and internationally.

Both agreed that international issues should be resolved through peaceful dialogue and diplomatic means.

Malaysia would continue to promote the moderation agenda and mediation approach, promote the enhancement of UN peacekeeping operations, support peace building in countries emerging from conflicts and encourage continued discussion on the comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council.

Both leaders witnessed the signing of five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) namely the MoU on Tourism Related Activities, MoU on Cooperation in The Field of Youth Development, MoU on the Recruitment, Employment and Repatriation of Workers and MoU in the Field of Culture, Arts and Heritage and MoU between the Sri Lanka Council For Agricultural Research Policy (SLCARP) and Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) on Scientific Research and Technical Cooperation.

Source: ANI