French President Macron visits his counterpart in Sri Lanka

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickermesinghe in the first visit by a French leader to the Indian Ocean island nation

Updated - July 29, 2023 11:44 am IST

Published - July 29, 2023 10:43 am IST - COLOMBO

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickermesinghe shakes hand with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during a meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, July 28, 2023.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickermesinghe shakes hand with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron during a meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, July 28, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

French President Emmanuel Macron held discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart on July 29 on an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region in the first-ever visit by a French leader to the Indian Ocean island nation.

As the fourth-largest creditor to Sri Lanka, France had pledged cooperation in debt restructuring to help the island nation recover from its economic crisis.

Mr. Macron arrived in Sri Lanka on July 28 night, following his trip to the South Pacific region, to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations, Sri Lanka's President's office said.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron chats with Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe during an overnight stopover on his way from an official visit to the Pacific islands at Bandaranaike International Airport, in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 29, 2023.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron chats with Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe during an overnight stopover on his way from an official visit to the Pacific islands at Bandaranaike International Airport, in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 29, 2023. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe praised France’s significant role in global affairs, particularly in areas such as climate mitigation, global debt restructuring, and matters related to the Indo-Pacific region, the statement said.

Also Read | India, Japan and France launch common platform for Sri Lankan debt restructuring programme

“Sri Lanka and France are two Indian Ocean nations that share the same goal: an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific. In Colombo we confirmed it: strengthened by 75 years of diplomatic relations, we can open a new era of our partnership,” Mr. Macron said in a Twitter message after the meeting.

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