President Ranil meets Indonesian counterpart during China visit

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has underscored the need to enhance the political, economic and cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Indonesia by reinforcing the Indian Ocean’s identity, during an official meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Beijing today (17), the President’s Media Division (PMD) reported.

Both leaders are in China to participate in the Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation. During the meeting, the two leaders engaged in extensive discussions on further strengthening political, cultural and economic ties between the two countrie
Furthermore, they deliberated on the implications of the economic crisis and the palm oil ban on the trade activities connecting the two nations, the PMD said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe highlighted Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to establish free trade agreements with various Asian countries and to formalize the existing agreement with India. In response, the Indonesian President expressed the timeliness of working towards a free trade agreement between Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

The leaders exchanged in-depth insights on global economic and political trends and how they address these challenges as small states in the Asian region.

The event was attended by ministers and officials, with Indonesian Foreign Minister Ms. Retno Marsudi leading the delegation from Indonesia and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry, President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka representing Sri Lanka, according to the PMD.

President Wickremesinghe also met with Pakistan Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar and engaged in bilateral discussions in Beijing this afternoon (17).

During their meeting, both leaders emphasized the global imperative of cultivating a harmonious society free from animosity, prejudice and anger arising from racial, religious or ethnic differences.

They stressed the paramount importance of addressing the challenge of fostering a unified society based on shared humanity, where divisions driven by race, religion or ethnicity give way to unity and mutual understanding.

Subsequently, President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar engaged in an extensive discourse concerning the economic crises that affected both Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with a particular focus on strategies for recovery.

Additionally, the two leaders deliberated on the critical developments unfolding in the Gaza Strip. In this regard, a consensus was reached to issue a joint statement, reflecting their common stance on the matter.