EU looks to better relations with new Sri Lanka president

COLOMBO (EcononyNext) – The European Union welcoming newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena said it was looking forward to improve relations with Sri Lanka.

"The EU looks forward to working with him to further develop its relations with Sri Lanka," EU’s High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

"The EU will continue to support Sri Lanka in its development as a prosperous and inclusive democracy for the benefit of all its citizens."

Sri Lanka lost a preferential trade deal with the EU following human rights violations of citizens by the outgoing administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe expressed confidence during campaigning that he would be able to restore the so-called ‘GSP+’ trade access to the EU by improving the freedoms of citizens and giving them rights in line with an international accord on citizens’ freedoms.

The new administration also wants to clear fish export ban imposed by the EU.

Congratulatory messages have poured in from a number of world leaders including those of the US, India and Japan.