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Qatar ready to assist Sri Lankan development Emir assures President
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 04.52 GMT

Close understanding was reached on mutual cooperation between the Emirate of Qatar and Sri Lanka when President Mahinda Rajapaksa had bi-lateral discussions with His Majesty Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, in New York yesterday (20).

The Emir had great admiration for the restoration of peace in Sri Lanka and the work already being done towards reconciliation and mutual trust among all communities.

In discussing current developments in the fields of power and energy, the Emir of Qatar responded favourably to a request by President Rajapaksa for Qatar to supply Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Sri Lanka for development needs. There was also agreement for Qatar to help in the development of Tourism in Sri Lanka, with increased visitors and investment in the industry.

President Rajapaksa expressed his deep interest in the welfare of nearly 95,000 Sri Lankans currently employed in Qatar, and at the President’s request the Emir agreed to make land and other facilities available to establish schools with the best facilities for the Sri Lankan children in the Emirate.

It was agreed in the discussions that bi-lateral relations between Sri Lanka and Qatar should further improve, and the Emir of Qatar also agreed to assist in the further development of the Sri Lankan National Career, Sri Lankan Airways. The Emir also stated that due to the conditions of peace that have been restored in Sri Lanka, and in view of the new improvements in the Sri Lankan economy and opportunities for investment, there were many investors from Qatar who were interested in investing in Sri Lanka .

In the warm and cordial discussions that took place between the two national leaders, the Emir of Qatar also agreed to support Sri Lanka ’s request for Observer Status in the Organization of Islamic Nations.

Those associated with President Rajapaksa in the discussion were Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris, Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and John Seneviratne, and the Hon. Namal Rajapaksa MP.



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