President telephones Abbott

President Mahinda Rajapaksa today telephoned the new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and congratulated him on his election as Prime Minister, President’s spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told the Colombo Gazette.

Abbott, Australia’s conservative leader swept into office last week in a landslide election defeating Labour leader Kevin Rudd.

The new Australian Prime Minister is expected to take a tough stand on the issue of illegal asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and other countries going to Australia by boat.

Samaranayake said that during today’s telephone conversation, Abbott had appreciated the efforts taken by President Rajapaksa to address the illegal asylum seeker issue.

President Rajapaksa had meanwhile said he was looking forward to meeting Abbott at the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka in November, the President’s spokesman said. (Colombo Gazette)

Report by Easwaran Rutnam

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