President Maithripala Sirisena commenced a four-day state visit to the Philippines, marking the first invitation extended to a Sri Lankan Head of State to undertake an official visit to their country, during the period of 58 year diplomatic relationship between Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
The President arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, yesterday (15). at the Airport, President Sirisena was warmly received by a special delegation, including the Trade and Investment Minister of Philippines.
Diplomatic relations were established between Sri Lanka and the Philippines in 1961, with the Government of the Philippines opening a legation in Colombo.
In 1973, Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike visited Philippines and later, several leaders visited Philippines to attend international conferences, but this is the first time that an invitation was extended to Sri Lanka at head of state level.
During his visit to Philippines, the President is expected to further strengthen the political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries and it is also expected to sign several new MoUs in this regard.
Commencing the state visit, the President will pay floral tribute to the Philippines’s National War Heroes Monument, today (16).
Later, President Sirisena will hold bilateral discussions with the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacanang Palace.
A special ceremony has been organized at the Malacanang Palace to welcome President Maithripala Sirisena.
President Sirisena also scheduled to visit the Asian Development Bank Headquarters in Manila and the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños and the President will hold bilateral discussions with the President of the Asian Development Bank Takehiko Nakao.