Sri Lanka's new FM hails China's Belt and Road Initiative

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 4, 2017
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COLOMBO, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's newly appointed Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake on Tuesday commended China's Belt and Road Initiative, saying it would be advantageous for the island country.

In an interview with the local Daily Mirror, Karunanayake said the Silk Road had been in existence for over 3,000 years and Sri Lanka was definitely going to be a part of this ambitious project.

The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, is aimed at building an infrastructure and trade network that spans across the globe, linking Asia with Europe and Africa, along the ancient Silk Road trading routes.

"Sri Lanka is in a pivotal point," Karunanayake said, adding that with its strong geographic location in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka aimed to attract more investment and trade.

"All the countries are looking at us. Singapore is a small country emulated by many. They have taken maximum advantage of their location," he added.

The minister said Sri Lanka had a higher edge over Singapore due to its strong location, and the island country would soon make a strong comeback despite suffering the blows of a 30-year civil conflict against Tamil Tiger rebels which ended in 2009.

"Though 30 year aberration of peace kept us out, we will make a comeback. We will even invite Singapore into the system. Nobody should feel threatened," he said.  

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