At a meeting held in Colombo on Monday between Sri Lankan Prime Minister DM Jayaratne and Liu Yunshan, senior leader of the Communist Party of China, both countries agreed to strengthen and promote bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Liu, First Secretary of the CPC Central Secretariat, arrived on Sunday night on a three-day official visit, reported a news agency. Liu hailed the ‘high level of mutual political trust’ and thanked the south Asian country for its support on issues involving China's core interests.

He said that the consolidation of the China-Sri Lanka friendship ‘not only serves the interests of both nations, but also helps to promote peace, cooperation and development of the whole region".

He said that the two countries have bettered their relationship to a strategic cooperative partnership in May and China and is ready to work with Sri Lanka to grasp this opportunity and boost bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

Jayaratne, for his part, said the Sri Lanka-China friendship has been deeply rooted in the hearts of both peoples and bilateral cooperation has witnessed steady expansion. The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude for Chinese assistance for his country's development, and reaffirmed Sri Lanka's support for China's efforts to safeguard its core interests.

Liu and Jayaratne also witnessed the signing of several bilateral cooperation agreements. Before his talks with Jayaratne, Liu met Sri Lankan Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and exchanged views with him on bilateral economic cooperation.

On the same day, Liu also met Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the main Opposition United National Party and a former prime minister of Sri Lanka.


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