Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena arrived in Dhaka on a three-day state visit on Thursday, highlighting the growing ties between the two countries.
This is his first official visit to Bangladesh after he was elected a president in 2015. He had visited Bangladesh in 2013 and 2014 as a health minister.
A Sri Lankan Airlines flight carrying him and his 73-member entourage comprising ministers, state ministers, deputy ministers and business community members landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 11:25am, reports UNB.
President Abdul Hamid welcomed him at the airport amid gun salute and guard of honour.
Upon his arrival, Sirisena was escorted to his place of residence -- Sonargaon Hotel -- in a ceremonial motorcade.
In the afternoon, he paid respect to the Liberation War martyrs at the National Martyr’s Memorial in Savar.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mosharraf Hossain and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq received the Sri Lankan president at the venue at 3:40pm.
Sirisena attended a ceremony and signed the visitor’s book and planted a sapling there after placing wreaths.
Later, he also visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi, where he was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s daughter Saima W Hossain, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and CEO of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust Mashura Hossain.
He placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu and stood in solemn silence there for some time as a mark of respect to the founder of Bangladesh and visited the museum and signed the visitor’s book there.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali met Sirisena at his place of residence at 7pm and discussed various issues of mutual interest.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hasina will hold official talks with Sirisena at her office this morning with a special focus on trade and investment.
Before that they will have tete-a-tete at the same venue from 10am.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Wednesday said over 10 agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed between the two countries after the talks.
Sirisena will meet Abdul Hamid this evening, while the latter will host a banquet in honour of his Sri Lankan counterpart at Bangabhaban preceded by a cultural programme.