News Center -TDO- 06.02.2020 - A reception was held at the Swiss Hotel in Ankara for the 72nd anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence, hosted by Sri Lanka's Ambassador to Turkey Mohammad Rizvi Hassen and his spouse Husna Zamaniya Cader Hassen.

The reception was attended by the Deputy Speaker of the parliament, Levent Gok, the Deputy Minister of National Education, Reha Denemec, and many representatives of foreign missions and invited guests.

The reception began after the reading of the national anthems of the two countries and a stand of respect for those who lost their lives in the earthquake in Elazığ and the avalanche in Van.

In his keynote address, Ambassador Hassen expressed condolences on behalf of the Sri Lankan government for those who lost their lives in the plane crash in Istanbul and the avalanche in Van, as well as a wish for immediate healing for the injured.

The Democratic People of Sri Lanka elected a new president last November, Ambassador Hassen said, adding that the country's new president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is making efforts to maintain the stability of his country while also taking steps towards economic development.

Ambassador Hassen said that Sri Lanka's new president and government are ready to take existing relations with Turkey to a new level, adding: "Relations between Sri Lanka and Turkey date back centuries. There have also been many turning points in the history of both countries over the years. Turkey has always shown us its true friendship during the difficult times of Sri Lanka. I would like to thank President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish nation for the support and solidarity shown to my country."

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Levent Gok, in his speech here, celebrated the 72nd anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence and wished the results of the Sri Lankan presidential election on 16 November to the people of Sri Lanka better.

Stating that he wished both the presidential election and the parliamentary elections to contribute to the welfare of the Sri Lankan people, Gok stated that he believed wholeheartedly that Turkey-Sri Lanka relations would follow a positive course in the future as they have so far.

The reception ended after a celebratory cake was cut.

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