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Emir of Qatar on a state visit to Sri Lanka

On an invitation extended by President H. E. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Emir of the State of Qatar, H. H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani will arrive in Sri Lanka on 15th January 2012 on a two -  day state visit which will be the first visit to Sri Lanka by a Qatari Emir. The Emir will be accompanied by Ministers and senior officials from the State of Qatar.

The visit of H. H the Emir to Sri Lanka follows the first visit to Sri Lanka by the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, H. E Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani in December 2011.

These high level visits mark an important milestone in Sri Lanka – Qatar relations which are built upon historical  ties and  shared values.  The state visit of Qatari Emir to Sri Lanka would serve for further consolidation of multifaceted relations  and closer cooperation between the two countries. This is in keeping with President Rajapaksa’s “Mahinda Chinthana Vision” of  strengthening Sri Lanka’s relations with friendly countries in the Middle Eastern region.

Bilateral discussions between the Emir of Qatar and the President of Sri Lanka are scheduled for 15th January 2012 followed by a State Banquet hosted by the President in honour of the Qatari Emir.  During the visit, several bilateral agreements are expected to be signed to further promote cooperation between the two countries in investment, economic cooperation, tourism, education, cultural and legal fields. The two sides  are also scheduled to ink an agreement  for the formation of a high level joint committee.

The Ministers and high level business delegation accompanying the Qatari Emir will hold discussions with their Sri Lankan counterparts aimed at exploring potential opportunities in investment, trade, tourism and other promising sectors of interest.

Sri Lanka and Qatar have enjoyed excellent relations and long standing friendship  culminating in the opening of the Sri Lankan  Embassy in Doha in 1997 while Qatar reciprocated with the setting up of its resident mission in Colombo in   2004.

At present around one hundred thousand Sri Lanka nationals are employed in Qatar in various fields and professions. The visit of H. H the Emir to Sri Lanka is a clear  reflection of  Sri Lanka – Qatar  joint endeavours in pursuit of  closer economic cooperation and mutually beneficial ties between the two countries in all spheres of interest.

Ministry of External Affairs
Colombo

13th January 2012

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