China congratulates Mahinda Rajapaksa on election as Sri Lankan PM

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BEIJING, Aug 10 (APP): China on Monday congratulated Mahinda Rajapaksa on his election as Sri Lanka’s prime minister, who took oath of office on Sunday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, during his regular briefing, said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had sent a congratulatory message to the Sri Lankan prime minister after his election.

He said China and Sri Lanka enjoyed a traditional friendship and both the countries had been advancing the strategic cooperative partnership based on sincere mutual assistance and everlasting friendship.

“We have been expanding and deepening our cooperation across the board. Our two governments and people have been helping each other at the time of difficulties and fighting the COVID-19 together,” he added.

Zhao Lijian said the friendship between the two countries had been consolidated and elevated in the process. “Prime Minister Rajapaksa has been promoting the China-SriLlanka friendship,” he added.

He said the Chinese side attached high importance to its relationship with Sri Lanka and would like to work with Sri Lanka to consolidate bilateral traditional friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, move forward the bilateral relations and deliver more benefits to the two countries and the people.

Rajapaksa was sworn in as the prime minister for the fourth time. His party won 145 seats in the August 5 election to elect new legislators in a 225-member parliament.

According to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the new parliament will convene on August 20.