Sri Lankan president arrives today for five-day state visit

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrives in the country today for a historic five-day state visit.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, the visit of the Sri Lankan leader will be from January 15 to 19 to be highlighted with a one-on-one meeting with President Duterte in Malacañang on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena attends a meeting during the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit at the Foreign Ministry in Bangkok, Thailand, October 10, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena (REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha / MANILA BULLETIN)

“Their bilateral discussions will focus on areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, agriculture, cultural and people-to-people engagement,” Panelo said.

While in the Philippines, Panelo said Sirisena is also scheduled to visit the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños.

Sirisena is also expected to meet the Sri Lankan community in Manila.

According to the Palace official, the visit of President Sirisena is of historic significance as it will be the first by a Sri Lankan president serving both as Head of State and Government under Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution.

Prior to this visit, Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the only other Sri Lankan leader to visit the Philippines in 1976, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1961,” Panelo said.

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