July 1, 2021

Duterte is looking forward to his post-Covid visit to Sri Lanka

In order to restore normalcy to the situation in Sri Lanka after the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) epidemic, President Rodrigo Duterte plans to visit the country.

On Monday (June 28), according to a news release from the President’s Office, Duterte responded by phone to the invitation extended by Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to pay a state visit to the Philippines.

This year, both nations are commemorating 60 years of diplomatic ties, and the presidents of the two countries spoke by phone to reaffirm their shared resolve to further strengthen collaboration.

“For the last six decades, we have sought mutually beneficial relationships. Duterte was reported as adding, “We look forward to building on this and exploring the full potential of our cooperative relations in the future.”

During his visit, he expressed the Philippine government’s desire to further deepen its involvement with Sri Lanka at the United Nations (UN) on topics of mutual concern.

Duterte also expressed gratitude to the Sri Lankan government for its assistance in the repatriation of Filipinos during the pandemic, as well as for the safe return of Filipino seafarers aboard the MT New Diamond, which was destroyed by fire off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka in September of last year.

According to reports, one Filipino crew member was killed “in a boiler explosion” and another was wounded when a fire broke out aboard the huge oil tanker off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, according to the Associated Press.

Sri Lanka and the Philippines have worked together and supported each other in international forums, notably the United Nations Human Rights Council, and Rajapaksa has expressed his gratitude for this collaboration and mutual support.

The two presidents agreed to look into new avenues for bilateral collaboration, especially in the areas of security and defense, commerce and investment, labor migration, and tourism, among other things.

It was also recognized that combating the Covid-19 virus is a common duty as well as a chance to act in solidarity with all countries.

Sri Lanka is presently listed as one of the nations subject to a travel restriction imposed by the Philippines until July 15 in order to prevent the potential entrance of the Delta Covid-19 version.

India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates are among the other nations involved.

Up to this point, the Philippines has received notification of a total of 17 Delta cases that originated in India.

A total of 13 instances of Delta Covid-19 variant were discovered in the nation, all of which were returning Filipino tourists. The four new instances are all Filipinos who have returned home.

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