Foreign Affairs

Toast by President Rajapaksa for the official luncheon on the occasion of his working visit to Seychelles to President James Michel

Sat, 28 June 2014

(Opening Remarks)

I thank Your Excellency, for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to me and my delegation in your beautiful islands.  It is a great pleasure to be here once again.  Interestingly, it was exactly one year ago, that I visited Seychelles, on my first visit,

At the outset, I wish to introduce my delegation.

(Bilateral Relations)

I wish to congratulate Your Excellency on the occasion of the 38th Anniversary of independence of Seychelles.

Excellency, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are bound by historical ties, based on friendship and mutual understanding.

As island nations in the Indian Ocean, we share many commonalities in values and cultural traditions.  Our people to people interactions continue to further enhance these connections.

Our relations have been further cemented by establishing the resident Sri Lanka High Commission in Victoria in December 2013.

I understand that Your Excellency has advised the Foreign Ministry in providing a suitable plot of land to establish our High Commission in Victoria.  I thank Your Excellency for this kind gesture.

To set up the Seychelles High Commission in Colombo, a suitable premises will be provided at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) on a complimentary basis for one year.

(Bilateral cooperation - Agreements and MoUs)
We have identified several areas of cooperation between our countries.  Most of the proposals made during my visit last year have borne fruit, already.

The mechanism for annual consultations between the 2 Ministries of Foreign Affairs of our two countries, which will be established today, would be extremely useful to enhance our bilateral cooperation.

I am pleased that we are able to conclude many MoUs and Agreements for signature during this visit.  We will do our best to give effect to these Agreements both our countries will sign today.

(Concluding Remarks)

I am extremely happy that Your Excellency will join me, to ceremonially declare open the Sri Lanka High Commission and the branches of the Sri Lanka Insurance Co-operation, Bank of Ceylon, Nawaloka Hospital and Mihin Lanka in Seychelles today following this discussion.

I have no doubt that this unique relationship will be further strengthened in the future for the mutual benefit of two countries and peoples.

I look forward to working closely with Your Excellency.

Thank you.

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