New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa this evening at Temple Trees. During the discussion, McCully reaffirmed his country’s support for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that will take place in Sri Lanka in November.
Minister McCully wished Sri Lanka well in preparing for CHOGM and said the entire Commonwealth needs to see the progress in the country, pointing out that success in trade and the economy is important to the process.
President Rajapaksa and McCully also spoke about several other areas of mutual interest including agriculture, tourism and education.
New Zealand expressed interest in supporting model farms in Sri Lanka as well as increasing tourism between both countries. In the education sector, New Zealand hopes to increase scholarships for tertiary education across the board, particularly in the field of agricultural, and the Foreign Minister said this includes more Commonwealth scholarships as well.
The New Zealand delegation comprised of the non-resident high commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mrs. Jan Henderson, the divisional manager of South and South East Asia at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Stephen Harris, and the deputy high commissioner to Sri Lanka in New Delhi, Ms. Wendy Mathews.
Sri Lanka was represented by Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Sri Lanka’s high commissioner in Australia who is also accredited to New Zealand, Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe. (Colombo Gazette)