Aug 09, Colombo: Former Prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu commended the leadership of Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena for establishing religious and ethnic harmony and making the island nation an example for other countries.
"Malaysia and Sri Lanka are the success stories in Asia, where most countries are grappling with terrorism and militancy due to ethnic and religious tensions," Davutoglu said when he called on President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday.
Mr. Davutoglu said yesterday he had witnessed the magnificent Dalada Perahera in Kandy and this morning a colorful Hindu Vel festival in Pettah in Colombo and added that he was highly delighted to see such ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka.
The former Turkish Premier congratulated President Sirisena for strengthening democracy in the country and for the 'most successful foreign policy'.
The President thanked Turkey for the support given to Sri Lanka at the international forums. He stressed the importance of further strengthening bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, commerce, agriculture, tourism and aviation.
Former Turkish Premier, who was accompanied by the Cabinet Chief Yunus Sonmez and Senior Advisor Mehmet Aytein, said that Turkey, being the sixth largest tourist destination of the world could cooperate with Sri Lanka as this country has immense potential in tourism.
Mr. Davutoglu said Sri Lanka could easily become an air hub for the region and establish direct links with Turkey, a major air hub in the gateway to Europe and Asia. He pointed out both countries are situated in important sea lanes in the world and could derive maximum advantage of the location.
President Sirisena thanked the former Turkish Premier for visiting Sri Lanka to deliver the M. A. Bakeer Marker Memorial Lecture. "The late Speaker Bakeer Markar was a highly respected, great statesman," he said.
Mr. Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, Turkish Ambassador Tunca Ozuhadar and Mr. Azam Bakeer Markar were also present during this meeting.
Prof. Davutoglu also met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees Yesterday evening and held bilateral discussions on improving relations between the two countries.
Speaker of Sri Lanka parliament Karu Jayasuriya hosted a dinner for the senior Turkish Leader Prof. Davutoglu and his wife at the Speaker's official residence.
Former Prime Minister of Turkey was the orator of this year's Annual Bakeer Markar Commemoration Lecture held in Colombo on Tuesday (August 08). Prof. Davutoglu delivered his speech on the theme of "Multiculturalism as a Basis for Peace".