Cyprus and Sri Lanka keen to enhance bilateral ties

cyprusThe High Commissioner of Cyprus to Sri Lanka, based in New Delhi, Dimitrios Theofilaktou has presented his credentials to the President of Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, saying Nicosia wishes to enhance its ties with Colombo, FG News reported.

The High Commissioner had the opportunity to exchange views with President Sirinesa on bilateral and international issues, confirming the excellent relations between the two countries.

Theofilaktou briefed the Sri Lankan President on the current phase of the Cyprus problem and thanked him for the consistent position of principle his country maintains towards Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks are underway with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

Theofilaktou stressed the will of the President and the Government of Cyprus for further strengthening bilateral relations in areas of mutual interest such as shipping and dealing with asymmetric threats such as terrorism.

He also referred to the common history of the two island states from colonial times to independence, their participation in the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth, the good cooperation within international organizations and the promotion of the principles of international law, including the Law of the Sea.

On his part Sirinesa stressed the active interest of his Government to further enhance cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus in areas of common interest, asking for support in efforts to promote constitutional and administrative reforms.

Cyprus’ High Commissioner had a series of meetings with government officials, including Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, the Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranathunga, the Minister of Labour Thalatha Athukorale, the Director General of the Foreign Ministry Chithranganee Wagiswara and the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Defence Karunasena Hettiarachchi, in which they examined practical ways to expand bilateral cooperation on issues of common interest such as trade, tourism and technical cooperation.

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