23 Aug 2012

President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has remarked that there can be no development without peace.He made his remarks at the Official Talks held at the Presidential Secretariat this afternoon during the State Visit of the President of the Republic of Maldives Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

President Dr Waheed Hassan is currently on a 3 day State Visit to Sri Lanka at the invitation of the President of Sri Lanka.On Day 1 of the visit the President of Maldives held one on one discussions with the Sri Lankan President.The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka H.E G.L Peiris also called on the Maldives President.A State Banquet was held in honour of the visiting President in the evening. Over the next two days President Dr Waheed will also be meeting with the diplomatic, Maldivian and business communities in Sri Lanka.

At the official talks both Presidents noted the historical and cultural close ties that bound both countries together.Maldives noted that important contribution made by Sri Lankan teachers to the education sector of Maldives.Discussion also focused on areas of collaboration and ways of strengthening cooperation through agreements and MoUs in various areas.Apart form the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdul Samad Abdulla, Minsiter of State for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Dunya Maumoon the Maldives delegation also included the Minister of Economic Development H.E Ahmed Mohamed, the Minister of Tourism and Arts H.E Mohamed Adheeb and the Minister for Environment and Energy H.E Mariyam Shakeela.The cabinet ministers will also be holding separate bilateral meetings withtheir counterparts in order to strengthen collaboration between the two countries. The Maldivian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka H.E Hussain Shihab and Deputy High Commissioner Dr Niyaaz are also part of the Maldives delegation.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government offered full support to the Government of Maldives in their quest for a peaceful resolution to the current political situation in the Maldives.They noted their respect for Maldives sovereignity and expressed their confidence the Maldivian government had the capacity to handle the situation that may arise following the release of the CoNI report.President Rajapaksa noted his willingness to assist in any way he can in dialogue and negotiations between the parties and in impressing upon Former President Nasheed and the MDP the to ensure there is no incitement to violence. They noted that due process of law need to applied equally to all and that there can be no impunity for unconstitutional and criminal acts on all sides of the political divide.