The Government of New Zealand with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka has appointed Mr. Michael Edward Appleton as the first High Commissioner of New Zealand to Sri Lanka based in Colombo.
He presented credentials to President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday (22 July) at the President’s House, Colombo 01.
Until today, the New Zealand High Commission based in India has been coordinating Sri Lankan affairs.
Mr Michael Edward Appleton said he was pleased to be the first High Commissioner to the newly established New Zealand High Commission in Sri Lanka, further expanding diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Meanwhile Mr Andres Marcelo Garrido, who has been appointed as Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba to Sri Lanka, also presented his credential to the President.
President Rajapaksa commended Cuba for its support to Sri Lanka at the United Nations General Assembly. The two new envoys assured the President that they would commit themselves to further develop their long-standing relations between Sri Lanka and their countries in new fields.
The President briefed the new envoys on the action taken as a government since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the progress of the vaccination drive. The President explained the need for all countries to work together to face climate changes, and the plans that have been taken for this purpose as a country under a formal plan by setting up a Task Force.
The President also pointed out the move towards the use of organic fertilizers and the steps taken to fulfill a higher percentage of the country’s energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2030.
President Rajapaksa pointed out to the envoys that the massive development projects launched in the North and East at the end of the humanitarian operation could be witnessed and understood by visiting those areas.
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Secretary to President P.B. Jayasundera, Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage, and Director General of the President’s Media Division Sudewa Hettiarachchi were also present.