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President Maithripala Sirisena embarked on a visit to Indonesia which was the first fully-fledged State visit by a Sri Lankan head to that nation after 40 years.

Previously, a State visit to Indonesia was made by former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike way back in 1976, during the tenure of President Suharto.

Sirisena along with 21 heads of state attended Indonesia to take part in a conference of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).

Sri Lankan and South Africa were the only two countries that were given full State honours by the Indonesian government.

Political analysts observed that for Sri Lanka the visit was significant as it was the first time a Sri Lankan leader had embarked on a State visit to the country in 40 years.

President Sirisena who met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday also signed two bi-lateral agreements between Indonesia and Sri Lanka. The Indonesian President warmly welcomed President Sirisena when he arrived at the Merdeka Palace, the official residence of the President of Indonesia. A colourful welcome ceremony was organized at the Merdeka Palace to welcome the Sri Lankan President and a 21 gun salute was accorded to President Sirisena.

The leaders discussed in detail on new plans to strengthen cooperation in the field of fisheries, agriculture and tourism between the two countries.

They also discussed the possibilities of implementing a programme to exchange technical knowledge in the field of agriculture.

Their attention was also drawn to the proposal for a free trade agreement between the two countries and the duo further discussed looking into the possibility of it through the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.

Two agreements on maritime and fishing cooperation and the cooperation on traditional industries were signed by both countries during the meeting.

State Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Duleep Vedaarachchi signed on behalf Sri Lanka while the Maritime and Fisheries minister signed the agreement for Indonesia.