French President Emmanuel Macron made a historic visit to Sri Lanka yesterday (28), following his trip to the South Pacific Region. This visit marked the first time a French President had visited the country.

During the visit, President Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Macron held friendly and productive bilateral discussions that lasted for an hour and fifteen minutes. The main objective was to enhance and elevate the existing relations between Sri Lanka and France, especially considering the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic ties being celebrated this year.

President Wickremesinghe expressed admiration for France’s significant role in global affairs, particularly in areas such as climate mitigation, global debt restructuring, and matters related to the Indo-Pacific region.

President Macron recalled his recent conversations with President Wickremesinghe in Paris, which took place during the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact. He reaffirmed France’s willingness and commitment to supporting Sri Lanka in its economic recovery. As the fourth-largest creditor to Sri Lanka, France pledged its assistance in the debt restructuring process, aiming for a positive outcome for the country.

In a Twitter post following the discussions, President Macron stated, “Sri Lanka and France are two nations sharing the same goal: an open, inclusive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific. In Colombo, we confirmed it: As strong as in our 75 years of diplomatic relations, we would open a new era to our partnership.”

Leaders exchanged views on topics of regional and multilateral interest in the current global context. President Macron expressed keen interest in collaborating with Sri Lanka during its upcoming chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), of which France is a member. In turn, President Wickremesinghe showed interest in the Indian Ocean Commission, where France actively participates.