Sri Lanka PM to visit New Zealand

Wellington: Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will visit New Zealand from October 1 to 3, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Friday. "This will be the first time a Sri Lankan Prime Minister has undertaken a bilateral visit to New Zealand, and is an important step in the growing relationship between our countries," Xinhua news agency cited Key's statement. "Under Wickremesinghe's leadership, Sri Lanka has entered a new phase in its post-civil war development. New Zealand is keen to support the important steps the country is making towards reconciliation and rebuilding through increased political and economic contact," Key said. Key, who visited Sri Lanka in February, said he was struck by the range of exciting opportunities for New Zealand, and an increasing number of businesses were recognising the potential. Wickremesinghe would be accompanied by four ministers and a business as well as a media delegation.