President Mahinda Rajapaksa left this morning on a five-day state visit to Tanzania and Seychelles.
Not only will this be President Rajapaksa’s first visit to both countries, but it will also be the first visit of any Sri Lankan President, the President’s office said.
The visit is part of President Rajapaksa’s vision of further strengthening South-South cooperation.
President Rajapaksa is scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with both President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania and President James Alix Michel of Seychelles.
Sri Lanka has maintained good relations with both countries with several high-level visits taking place in recent years. Seychelles’ President Michel visited Sri Lanka last year during which time he extended an invitation to President Rajapaksa to visit the island nation.
The two countries have also supported Sri Lanka at various international fora. Seychelles voted in favor of Sri Lanka at the 11th Special Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2009.
At the April 2013 meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) when certain countries campaigned to relocate the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) from Sri Lanka, Tanzania remained supportive of Sri Lanka hosting the summit in November.
In Tanzania, President Rajapaksa will also attend the International Smart Partnership Dialogue in Dar-es-Salaam, the country’s capital. And in Seychelles, the President will attend a session of the country’s National Assembly and attend a business forum. (Colombo Gazette)