Sri Lanka, Kenya sign eight agreements to cement ties

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse returned yesterday after undertaking a tour of Kenya where the two countries entered into eight agreements to strengthen relations, President’s Office said.

Rajapakse attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of Kenya’s independence.

“Guided by the necessity to establish a solid framework to facilitate seamless engagement between the two governments, the two leaders commended the signing of the agreement establishing the Kenya РSri Lanka joint commission for co-operation,” a statement by Sri Lanka’s external affairs ministry said, Xinhua reported.

The joint commission for co-operation will be the primary point of contact for advancing, monitoring and evaluating bilateral ties between the two countries.

Seven other agreements on bilateral relations, trade, economic co-operation, visa exemption for diplomats, tourism and sports were signed between the two leaders.

Rajapakse and Kenyatta also instructed the relevant institutions to initiate consultations leading to the conclusion of agreements in the areas of investment promotion and protection and avoidance of double taxation.

Partnerships in education, mineral processing, hospitality, apparels, financial services and agriculture were among the many sectors that were discussed between the two leaders.

Given the two countries shared interest in the Indian Ocean, the two leaders agreed to launch focused initiatives in the areas of shipping and port connectivity, the sustainable management and extraction of ocean based resources and ensuring security of sea lanes particularly from the threat of piracy, the statement added.

This was Rajapakse’s second visit to Kenya since 2000.

Admirals hold talks over naval co-operation

Visiting Pakistani naval chief Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila discussed ways to boost military co-operation with Sri Lanka, a government spokesperson in Colombo said yesterday.

Admiral Sandila visited the Sri Lankan naval headquarters over the weekend for discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Xinhua quoted the Sri Lanka navy website as saying.

Admiral Sandila met the commander of the Sri Lankan navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage. Admiral Sandila also met senior officers of the Sri Lanka navy.

The discussions were focused on ways and means to enhance navy-to-navy relationship, especially in the domain of counter-terrorism and maritime security.


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