* Qatar, Sri Lanka sign agreements to step up co-operation
His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani held official talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena at the Emiri Diwan on Thursday.
They reviewed bilateral relations and ways to boost them in various fields including in investment, energy, education, health and medical sciences.
Regional and international issues of common interest also figured in the talks.
Later, the Emir and the Sri Lankan president witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding (MoU) between the two countries.
An agreement on co-operation in diplomatic and research training was signed between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.
Another agreement was on providing urgent aid to Sri Lanka to tackle drought and it was signed between the Qatar Fund for Development and the government of Sri Lanka.
In addition, an MoU on mutual exemption of visas for holders of diplomatic, private and official passports was signed.
Other MoUs were on co-operation in the energy field; on waste management; in health and medical sciences; and an MoU on exchanging financial investigations between the Financial Information Unit of Qatar and the information unit of Sri Lanka.
The talks were attended by a number of Qatari ministers and members of the delegation accompanying the Sri Lankan president.
The Emir later hosted a luncheon banquet at the Emiri Diwan in honour of the Sri Lankan president and his accompanying delegation.
The banquet was attended by a number of ministers.
The Sri Lankan president was accorded an official reception when he arrived at the Emiri Diwan.