Sri Lankan Pres­i­dent vis­its SAARC head­quar­ters

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Maithri­pala Sirisena, Pres­i­dent of the Demo­cratic So­cial­ist Repub­lic of Sri Lanka, vis­ited the SAARC head­quar­ters on 2 Septem­ber. The Pres­i­dent was ac­com­pa­nied by his en­tourage and the Am­bas­sador of Sri Lanka to Nepal. To com­mem­o­rate his visit to the Sec­re­tar­iat, the Pres­i­dent planted a tree in its premises and signed the Vis­i­tors’ Book. In his re­marks on the Vis­i­tors’ Book, the Pres­i­dent stated, “Sri Lanka strongly sup­ports re­gional co­op­er­a­tion and in­te­gra­tion in or­der to pro­mote the well-be­ing of the peo­ples of South Asia; to ac­cel­er­ate eco­nomic growth, so­cial progress and cul­tural in­ter­ac­tion in the re­gion; and for pro­mot­ing and strength­en­ing col­lec­tive voice of the coun­tries of South Asia.” Af­ter tak­ing a tour of the Sec­re­tar­iat premises, the Pres­i­dent, in his ad­dress, stated that as a found­ing mem­ber of SAARC, Sri Lanka re­mains com­mit­ted to the SAARC process. He stated that the Mem­ber States should work in the spirit of brother­hood to achieve the ob­jec­tives of SAARC. Ear­lier, de­liv­er­ing his wel­come re­marks, the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of SAARC said, “Your Ex­cel­lency’s mo­men­tous visit is a tes­ti­mony to the im­por­tance that you per­son­ally and the es­teemed Govern­ment of Sri Lanka at­tach to the SAARC process.” He fur­ther stated, “As a found­ing mem­ber of SAARC, Sri Lanka has been play­ing a very con­struc­tive role in its evo­lu­tion since its in­cep­tion in De­cem­ber 1985. As the host of three SAARC Sum­mits and the three-time Chair of SAARC, Sri Lanka has con­trib­uted enor­mously in en­rich­ing the SAARC process. Since its es­tab­lish­ment in Kath­mandu on 16 Jan­uary 1987, sev­eral SAARC Heads of State and Govern­ment have vis­ited the Sec­re­tar­iat.

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