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* Sri Lankan President leaves for the Middle East on a state visit
Sat, Jan 4, 2014, 11:13 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 04, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Wickremasinghe Rajapaksa left the island this morning for a state visit in the Middle East, the Presidential Spokesman and International Media Unit said.

President Rajapaksa will visit Jordan, Palestine and Israel during his official trip.

The first stop for the President will be the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan where he will meet with the King of Jordan King Abdulla II Ibn Al Hussein.

President Rajapaksa will then travel to Palestine for a two-day state visit. There, the President will hold bilateral discussions with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. While in Palestine, President Rajapaksa is also expected to lay a wreath at the mausoleum of former President Yasser Arafat, meet with members of the Sri Lanka Palestine Friendship Association and visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

In his two-day state visit to Israel, President Rajapaksa is expected to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres.

The Sri Lankan delegation is expected to hold discussions with the representatives of each country on strengthening bilateral relations in the agriculture, tourism, trade and employment sectors.

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