Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will visit the Philippines on Jan. 15 at the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.
Maithripala’s state visit from Jan. 15 to 19 is the first high-level visit by a foreign government leader to the Philippines this year.
Assistant Foreign Affairs Secretary Elmer Cato said Maithripala will be holding bilateral talks with Duterte and will also visit the Asian Development Bank in Manila and the International Rice Research Institute in Los Baños.
He said Maithripala will be the first Sri Lankan leader, who is serving as Head of State and Government under Sri Lanka’s 1978 Constitution, to visit the Philippines and the second since the two states established formal diplomatic ties in 1961.
The two nations celebrated the 58th anniversary of their diplomatic relations on Jan. 11
Sri Lanka and the Philippines are exploring ways to expand their relations on trade and investment, defense, education, tourism, labor migration, agriculture and mutual legal assistance.