Mauritania firm over stand on Lanka

By admin on November 13, 2014 – 17:34

02Mauritania today backed the stand it took on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) saying Sri Lanka had overcome difficulties following the war.

Sri Lanka and Mauritania signed an agreement today to establish a Joint Commission on Cooperation to further strengthen relations between the two countries.

The signing took place following bilateral talks between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and President of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz at the President’s Office this afternoon. During the meeting between the two presidents, Mauritania requested for Sri Lankan expertise and assistance in developing a number of sectors, including mining, health, vocational training, fisheries and agriculture.

Pointing out the advancements Sri Lanka has made in all these areas, President Rajapaksa said Sri Lanka is more than happy to assist in keeping with its overall policy of enhancing relations with Africa.

“We have been taking measures to strengthen our relations in Africa,” President Rajapaksa said. “We are very happy that you spent at least several hours with us, but I invite you to return to Sri Lanka for an official visit to further the relations between our two countries.”

In 2012, Sri Lanka decided to expand relations in the African continent. At present, Sri Lanka maintains formal diplomatic relations with 42 African countries with six resident missions.

Despite the geographical distance between the two nations, President Aziz said, “There is a great potential for our two countries to work together. We’re looking forward to a longer visit. (We) like to strengthen and consolidate our relations.”

The two countries already share good relations, with Mauritania having consistently supported Sri Lanka in international forums, including at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2012 and 2013, despite facing external pressure.

Pointing out that many countries have gone through and continue to go through the type of difficulties Sri Lanka has faced, particularly with the terrorist war, President Aziz commended President Rajapaksa for overcoming them.

“We understand your situation,” President Aziz told President Rajapaksa, speaking about the reasons his Government decided to support Sri Lanka. “We understand what you have been through. You were successful in overcoming the difficulties and putting your nation on the path of development.”

Apart from the agreement for the establishment of a Joint Commission on Cooperation an agreement on Bilateral Political Consultations was also signed between both countries today. (Colombo Gazette)

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