Macron makes ‘historic’ stop in Sri Lanka
France’s president Emmanuel Macron (L) talks to Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe (R) before bilateral talks in Colombo on July 28, 2023. (Photo by LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images)
EMMANUEL Macron made a short stopover in Sri Lanka on Friday (28), the first visit by a French president to the island nation, which is undergoing a difficult economic recovery.
The French leader, who spent less than two hours in the country, was welcomed by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Macron made the stop en route home from Oceania, after visiting Papua New Guinea, the French territory of New Caledonia and the sea-threatened archipelago of Vanuatu.
“This is a historic visit,” the Elysee said of the meeting.
Wickremesinghe came to power a year ago after his predecessor fled the country, driven out by massive protests amid the country’s worst economic crisis since independence in 1948.
Sri Lanka, which has received major support from the IMF, is expected to remain bankrupt until 2026.