Sri Lanka’s Relations With Bahrain Receives Major Boost!

Sri Lanka and Bahrain have agreed to further broaden and deepen their bilateral engagement in diverse fields of mutual interest.

This outcome was reached at the official talks that President Mahinda Rajapaksa held with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, during his State visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain on 28-30 April 2014, the first State visit to Bahrain by a Head of State of Sri Lanka. Both leaders agreed on the importance of enhancing high-level political exchanges, trade and economic relations and people-to-people linkages.

President Rajapaksa was accorded a ceremonial welcome on arrival in the capital, Manama on 28th April and hosted to an official banquet in his honor by the King of Bahrain, which was preceded by official discussions.

On the same day, President Rajapaksa was awarded the prestigious Order of Al-Khalifa Medal, the highest State honor in the Kingdom of Bahrain. During the ceremony, the King of Bahrain, King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said the medal was being presented to President Rajapaksa “in appreciation of your Excellency and your friendly country, and in recognition of the efforts you are personally exerting to move with bilateral ties to a higher level of development and progress.”

The Order of Al-Khalifa was founded in 1940 and revived in the 1970s. The medal honors the dedication of the late Amir Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa to humanitarianism. Upon receiving the medal, President Rajapaksa said, “I am humbled and honored,” and said, “With Bahrain, we seek to build an enhanced dynamic partnership. The kind words, gracious hospitality and warm interactions will leave enduring and fond memories of this state visit, for me and my delegation, which undoubtedly will translate into active cooperation.”

Other bilateral engagements included a meeting with the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.During the official meetings, the two sides underlined their close bilateral ties, entrenched in their shared history and rich cultures, sustained by the growing economic linkages and close people-to-people contacts. The wide-ranging discussions were held in a sincere, friendly and forward-looking atmosphere with a useful exchange of views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutualinterest.

President Rajapaksa was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris, high ranking senior government officials and business leaders from Sri Lanka.

The Joint Statement issued at the end of President Rajapaksa’s State visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain is attached.