President Maithripala Sirisena and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuolu discussed ways to strengthen relations between the two countries yesterday (June 15).

The President urged Turkey to increase investments in Sri Lanka and the visiting Turkish Minister briefed the President on the steps the Turkish government could take for further strengthening of trade, investment and bilateral relations.

Ambassador of Republic of Turkey to Sri Lanka, Tunca Özuhadar, Sedar Cam, President of TIKA, Turkish Corporation and Coordination Agency and Ambassador Ümit Yalçin, Deputy Undersecretary for Middle-East and Asia Pacific also took part in the discussions.

Following the independence of Sri Lanka on 4 February 1948, the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi was accredited to Sri Lanka and the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tel Aviv was accredited to Turkey.

Later on, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara was opened in 2012 and the Turkish Embassy in Colombo was opened in 2013.

The relations between Turkey and Sri Lanka are free of problems. The visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to Sri Lanka on 10 February 2005, in the context of his tour to the countries affected by tsunami that occurred on 26 December 2004 in the Indian Ocean, has been an important threshold in the Turkey-Sri Lanka bilateral relations. Besides, Inter-parliamentary Friendship Groups were mutually established both in the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the Parliament of Sri Lanka, in 2006.

The visit paid by the then President of Sri Lanka in 2008, has been the first presidential visit from Sri Lanka to Turkey.