Monday, June 02, 2008

"Israeli assistance has helped us immensely"

Sri Lanka-Daily News-June 2, 2008

Israeli assistance has helped Sri Lanka immensely in its efforts to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Higher Education Minister Wiswa Warnapala.
The Minister expressed these sentiments when he met Israel Ambassador Mark Sofer at the Higher Education Ministry yesterday.
Israel has come to our assistance several times during the last two decades in times of crisis. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka paid an official visit to Israel and held extensive talks with Israeli President, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s proposal on “Business and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka was well received by the business circles in Israel at a well attended seminar organised by the Israel-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and the Israel-Asia chamber of Commerce, based in Tel Aviv.
“During this visit an agreement of cooperation in the field of culture, education and science was signed between Israel and Sri Lanka.
This cooperation between the two countries should be extended to other fields including trade, commerce and investments Minister Professor Wiswa Warnapala, said.
Minister Warnapala said Israel is one of the first countries that came to our assistance in the aftermath of tsunami.
Israel Ambassador to Sri Lanka Sofer said Israel is taking a keen interest in strengthening in economic cooperation between the two countries.
“We have parliamentary democracy and (the Country) is naturally gifted with timber, potash, copper ore, natural gas, phosphate rock, magnesium bromide clays and sand. We have a technologically advanced market economy with substantial Government participation. The universities in Israel can compete with most of the universities in the world.”
The Higher Education Minister has a mission to upgrade the universities in Sri Lanka as world class universities.
This is a ambitious programme. The government of Israel is ready to help the higher education field in Sri Lanka in numerous ways to achieve its ambitions”.
The ambassador residing in New Delhi is expected to meet senior Cabinet Ministers during his five day visit.


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