The peaceful transition of power in Sri Lanka following its presidential election is being welcomed by New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
New Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has begun assembling a Cabinet as he looks to deliver on pledges to improve the war-torn country’s diplomatic standing and implement democratic reforms, AFP reports.
Sirisena was sworn in on Friday evening after a shock election victory over veteran strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in Thursday’s presidential election.
McCully congratulated Sirisena on his victory.
“The election saw strong voter turnout and a clear result, which was respected by all sides. New Zealand congratulates the people of Sri Lanka for demonstrating their commitment to peace and stability.”
He also commended Mr Rajapaksa for facilitating a swift and orderly transfer of power.
“New Zealand and Sri Lanka have a close relationship, built on people-to-people links, dairy co-operation, and our shared love of cricket.
“We look forward to working with President Sirisena on these issues and continuing to engage with Sri Lanka as the country moves towards reconciliation following the decades-long civil war.”
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