Concluding his assignment as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Austria, Ambassador A.L. A. Azeez paid a farewell call on Heinz Fischer, President of Austria, at Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
Ambassador Azeez apprised the Austrian President of positive developments in Sri Lanka including progress in reconciliation, peace building and development improved bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Austria as well as between Sri Lanka and the other countries in the region, possibilities that exist in Sri Lanka for promotion of trade, investment and tourism, under the new Government.
He also briefed the Austrian President on domestic mechanisms to be evolved in Sri Lanka through broad-based consultations, with a view to advancing truth seeking, justice, reparations and non-recurrence.
The Austrian President stated that he was pleased that Sri Lanka was going through a period of positive transformation under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, reiterating his hope that such an inclusive approach would help usher in lasting peace and prosperity to all Sri Lankans in addition to contributing to the healing of wounds.
Expressing happiness at the enhanced level of bilateral relations between the two countries, which has led to an increase in the volume of trade, in the number of Austrian tourist arrivals in Sri Lanka, in the quantum of Austrian assistance for development, President Fischer said that he was confident that the bilateral relations would further expand in the near future with a wide range of initiatives currently being taken in the area of trade and economic cooperation.
The Austrian Airlines launching weekly flights to Colombo from 27 October, followed by an increased flow of Austrian investment as Sri Lanka continued its progress in peace building, was noted as a significant turn-around in bilateral relations.
The Austrian President conveyed his appreciation to Ambassador Azeez for his role and contribution in further strengthening bilateral partnership, and wished him well in his future endeavours.