June 17, St. Petersburg: Chinese President Hu Jintao and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa met today and discussed ways to expand the already strong bilateral ties between the two countries in all directions.
The two leaders held discussions Friday at the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, currently being held in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Observing that the two countries are trustworthy friends President Jintao has said that China is ready to join hands with Sri Lanka to lift the all-round cooperative partnership between the two countries to a new height.
Hu has noted that in recent years Sri Lanka-China relations have grown healthier and suggested to increase high-level contact, expand intergovernmental exchanges between government departments, political parties, and local governments, and boost personnel exchanges at all levels.
Hu has assured that China will always support Sri Lanka to safeguard the country’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and maintain the coordination and cooperation with Sri Lanka on regional and international affairs.
The Chinese President has highlighted the development taking place in Sri Lanka with the Chinese support and encouraged the Chinese businesses to invest and set up businesses in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan President has appreciated all the long-term support China has given during the years to develop the country socially and economically.
Rajapaksa, observing that Sri Lanka’s relations with China are based on mutual respect, mutual trust, and friendship, has said that Sri Lanka is always ready to stand by China to advance their traditional friendship, expand pragmatic cooperation, and strengthen cooperation on regional and international issues and will continue to support China’s drive to safeguard its own core interests.
(Photos by Sudath Silva)