(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –President Maithripala Sirisena, who is on a state visit to Cambodia, held a meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Mr. Samdech Akka Moha Sena Pakdei Techo HUN SEN yesterday (08th) afternoon.
President Sirisena was accorded a grand welcome on his arrival at the Peace Palace by the Prime Minister of Cambodia.
The Prime Minister recalled the strong religious and cultural ties between the two countries which since ancient times. Based on the same historical relationship, the two leaders discussed ways to enhance tourism and trade between the two countries.
Attention was also drawn towards the possibility of establishing direct flights between the two countries. They also discussed the signing of an agreement on civil aviation.
The leaders also discussed that how to enhance cooperation in the economic and trade sectors and the implementation of the educational and youth exchange programme.
Despite longstanding bilateral relations, the embassies of the two countries have not been established. It was also discussed that action should be taken to expedite the process.
It was also discussed on inter-market opportunities and market advantages in between two countries. Pointing to the need for a legal basis for investment protection, President Sirisena said that his foreign policy is that no country should be affected by the actions of another country.
The discussion focused on the importance of strengthening ties between Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Cambodian Premier stated that distance between the two countries is a disadvantage for both countries.
President Sirisena stated that he would instruct the Ministry of External Affairs in Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to look into further improving diplomatic relations with Cambodia and establishing embassies.
The Cambodian Prime Minister thanked the President Sirisena for the facilities provided to the large number of Cambodian student Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka. Also he pointed out the possibility of strengthening relations between the two countries with a similar religious and cultural background.
The Cambodian Prime Minister also expressed his condolences over the terrorist attack that Sri Lanka had to face on the 21st of April.
Following the meeting with the leaders, two new MoUs were signed between Sri Lanka and Cambodia.
State Minister of External Affairs Mr. Wasantha Senanayake signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultation on behalf of Sri Lanka and the Foreign Secretary of Cambodia signed on behalf of the Government of Cambodia. The Chambers of Commerce of the two countries signed an agreement to establish a National Council of Cambodia and Sri Lanka.