Former Prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu hailed the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena for establishing religious and ethnic harmony, thus setting up 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,” he said when he called on President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (9th Aug.).
Mr. Davutoglu said he witnessed the Dalada Perehera in Kandy and a colourful Hindu Vel festival in Pettah in Colombo and added that he was highly delighted to see such ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka. He also 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.
He 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.
Imthiaz Bakeer Markar, Turkish Ambassador Tunca Ozuhadar and Azam Bakeer Markar were also present.