Emir to visit Sri Lanka on Sunday

HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani will pay a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka starting on Sunday, January 15 at the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapakse, diplomatic sources in Doha said yesterday.
According to a report on the Sri Lankan government’s official website, the Qatari delegation will comprise high-ranking government officials and leading businessmen of the country.
HH the Emir will hold bilateral talks with the Sri Lankan president on the day of his arrival. Several agreements covering improvement of bilateral relations in economic, trade, investment, cultural and industrial sectors are also scheduled to be signed during the visit.
Qatar hosts more than 100,000 Sri Lankans, according to the information provided by relevant agencies.
A Sri Lankan diplomat said the South Asian Republic was eagerly looking forward to HH the Emir’s visit  which comes just a month after the visit of the Qatar Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani. 
Last month the Qatar prime minister, accompanied by  Finance Minister HE Yousef  Hussain Kamal, had visited Sri Lanka and expressed the country’s desire to strengthen bilateral relations with Colombo. The prime minister   had met the Sri Lankan president, Foreign Minister G K Peiris and many cabinet ministers.
That was the first official visit of a Qatari delegation to Sri Lanka after diplomatic relations began between the two countries in 1995. The Sri Lankan embassy was established in Qatar in 1997.
During his visit, the prime minister had expressed Qatar’s firm resolve to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka. President Rajapakse briefed the Qatari delegation  on the post-war development, peace, and reconciliation in his country and the potential investment opportunities existing for the international community to partake in the emerging sectors in the Sri Lankan economy.
The Qatari premier had also said the Government of Qatar and Qatari investors were ready to invest in the mega hotel projects in tourist zones of Sri Lanka.  He had also informed that a group of leading Qatari investors would visit Sri Lanka to explore the possibilities for mobilisation of more Qatar investment in the tourism industry and also infrastructure projects in the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

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