Sri Lanka, Palestinians seek trade, tourism ties
(HaveeruOnline) Sri Lankan and Palestinian leaders agreed Monday to seek to boost trade and tourism and set up a joint economic cooperation council.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse sought to "institutionalise" their cooperation through formal mechanisms during talks in Colombo, Palestinian foreign affairs minister Riyad Al-Maliki said.
"Our leaders want to institutionalise our relationship with a joint business council to encourage business, joint ventures and tourism and cooperation in higher education," Maliki told reporters after the official talks.
Two-way trade figures were not available.
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris added that Sri Lanka support Palestinian statehood. Sri Lanka also maintains diplomatic ties with Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (2L) walks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse (3R) upon his arrival in Colombo on April 16, 2012. The Palestinian leader arrived on a two-day visit to the island. AFP PHOTO