COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — French President Emmanuel Macron held discussions with his Sri Lankan counterpart Saturday on an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region in the first-ever visit by a French leader to the Indian Ocean island nation.
As the fourth-largest creditor to Sri Lanka, France had pledged cooperation in debt restructuring to help the island nation recover from its economic crisis.
Macron arrived in Sri Lanka on Friday night, following his trip to the South Pacific region, to mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two nations, Sri Lanka's president's office said.
Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe praised France’s significant role in global affairs, particularly in areas such as climate mitigation, global debt restructuring, and matters related to the Indo-Pacific region, the statement said.
"Sri Lanka and France are two Indian Ocean nations that share the same goal: an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific. In Colombo we confirmed it: strengthened by 75 years of diplomatic relations, we can open a new era of our partnership," Macron said in a Twitter message after the meeting.