Oct 19, Colombo: Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Stef Blok, who is visiting Sri Lanka, says the country's ability to continue free and democratic election system despite many challenges is highly commended by the democracies of the world.
The Dutch Minister made this statement when he called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the President's official residence this morning.
During the discussion, the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands and the regional issues were discussed at length.
The President said that he would be impartial in the upcoming presidential election and assured that this year's election would be a peaceful, democratic and free of corruption.
The President added that since the police and the armed forces are under his control, he has instructed them to commit to an impartial and independent election while protecting the law and order of the country during the election period.
Recalling the support given by the Dutch Government for several projects in Polonnaruwa recently, the President thanked the Netherlands for its continued support to Sri Lanka's development process, particularly on road development, water pollution prevention schemes and rural bridge construction projects.
It was also discussed at this meeting to seek further cooperation from the Netherlands, which specializes in dairy sector, for the projects related to enhancing the production of liquid milk in Sri Lanka.
The Foreign Minister of the Netherlands conveying his regrets to the President about the Easter Sunday attacks expressed his views on the need to strengthen international cooperation in counterterrorism.
A Dutch delegation including the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Sri Lanka Tanja Gonggrijp, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Aryasinha and the President's Additional Secretary Esala Weerakoon were also present.