Maldivian President to pay official visit to Sri Lanka

The Maldivian President Mohammed Nasheed is scheduled to make a state visit to Sri Lanka from January 2 to 4.

The Maldivian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Ali Hussein Didi said that Nasheed would be on a goodwill state visit, the first undertaken by him since clinching victory at his country’s historic Presidential Election held on November 11, this year.

"No particular agreements have been finalised but the talks would focus on a broad spectrum including the development of trade tourism and cultural relations."

The invitation for Nasheed to visit Sri Lanka, was made personally by President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he, accompanied by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, attended Nasheed’s Presidential inauguration ceremony in Male.

Diplomatic sources said that both sides are keen on promoting private sector investments especially in tourism. "In this context, joint destination packages which should benefit both countries are under discussion."

Nasheed is keen to expand the collection of books in the Male library donated by Sri Lanka, the sources said.

"Over 10,000 Sri Lankans are employed in the Maldives and President Nasheed has welcomed their presence and also acknowledged their contribution to the Maldivian economy."

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