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* Sri Lankan President and Australian PM agree to enhance bilateral cooperation
Thu, May 25, 2017, 10:29 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 25, Canberra: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, who is on a three-day state visit to Australia, met Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the National Parliament building in Canberra on Thursday and held bilateral discussions.

The two leaders, after concluding a one-on-one round of talks, held bilateral discussions, in which ministers and officials from both sides participated.

During discussions, the visiting President Sirisena and Prime Minister Turnbull agreed to expand cooperation between the two countries in several areas.

Following the bilateral discussions, Sri Lanka and Australia in the presence of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Turnbull signed a joint declaration, a Memorandum of Understanding, and a letter of intent to increase cooperation between the two countries.

The Joint Declaration on Enhanced Cooperation between Australia and Sri Lanka was signed by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Harsha de Silva.

The MoU on a Cooperative Program on the Epidemiology of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology between the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization and the Sri Lanka Presidential Task force for Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease was signed by the ANSTO Chief Executive Officer Dr. Adrian Paterson, and High Commissioner, Somasundaram Skandakumar.

The Letter of Intent on Cooperation between Geo-science Australia and the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau of Sri Lanka was signed by the CEO of the Australian Institution James Johanson and High Commissioner Skandakumar.

The official welcome was held this morning at the Government House, where the President was warmly received by the Governor General, Sir Peter Crosgrove and Lady Crosgrove. The welcome ceremony for President Sirisena included a guard of honor, hoisting of Sri Lankan flag by the Commander of the Unit and playing of the national anthems of the two countries. President Sirisena inspected the Guard of Honor while a 21-gun salute boomed the air.

Following the welcome ceremony, a luncheon was hosted by the Governor General in honor of President Sirisena.

President Sirisena's visit from 24 - 26 May will be the first time a Sri Lankan Head of State has made a state visit to Australia.


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