Sri Lanka, Maldives endorse maintaining free & open Indian Ocean
December 5, 2019 09:20 pm
The Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon (05), the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.
Minister Shahid extended warm greetings, on his and the Maldivian President Mohamed Solih’s behalf, to President Rajapaksa on his election to the office of the President of Sri Lanka. While expressing satisfaction over the status of relations between the two nations, the Maldivian Minister stressed the need for enhancing not only the bilateral cooperation but also the regional cooperation.
In response to a question by President Rajapaksa, the Maldivian Minister said “now my country is back to normal. The political situation is stable. The ruling coalition remains strong”. He highlighted the importance of improving people to people relations between the two countries.
President Rajapaksa also said that both bilateral and regional cooperation must be continually strengthened. It is through such cooperation, he stated adding that drug menace and radicalization of youth could be managed to the extent possible. Turning to the subject of foreign investments the President said: “Sri Lanka is open to such investments not only from China but from countries such as Japan, Australia, Singapore and South Korea as well”.
Both the Sri Lankan President and the visiting Minister agreed that the Indian Ocean must remain free and open for all nations for their economic upliftment. “It was Sri Lanka that proposed the Indian Ocean be declared as a zone of peace in the early 70s”, President added.
Omar Abdul Razzak, the Ambassador of the Maldives was also present.