Palestinian President in Sri Lanka on state visit

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Sri Lanka late on Sunday night on a two day state visit, the Sri Lankan government said on Monday.

The Palestinian leader was welcomes at the airport by Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris and other government officials.

Abbas is to be accorded a guard of honor at the Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat on Monday and will later hold bilateral talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Both Sri Lankan and Palestine will also sign several bilateral agreements during the state visit of Abbas, the government said.

This is the Palestinian leader’s second visit to the island, the first being a two-day official visit which took place in 2008.

Sri Lanka and Palestine enjoy a strong relationship and a road has also been named after President Rajapaksa in Palestine.

The Sri Lankan government has also backed Palestine at the UN on the conflict with Israel.

Earlier this year the Sri Lankan President sent his son Namal Rajapaksa as a special envoy to meet the Palestinian leader in Ramallah.

Rajapaksa conveyed a letter to Abbas from the Sri Lankan President in which he stressed the depth of the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Palestine, as well as emphasized his country’s support to the Palestinians’ position aiming to achieve their rights guaranteed by the international law.