Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Italy early this morning to participate in an international symposium in Bologna.
He is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural session of the G20 Interfaith Forum Italy-2021 which will be held at the University of Bologna.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa has been accompanied by a delegation consisting of 17 officials, including Foreign Minister Prof G. L Peiris and Secretary to the Prime Minister Gamini Senarath.
The visit will also include several other high-level diplomatic meetings.
Recently, the Prime Minister and the Government were criticized over the former’s visit to Italy, after it was reported that he was set to visit the Vatican.
On Wednesday (08), the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka condemned the scheduled visit of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Vatican.
It was reported that Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Affairs Minister Prof. G.L.Pieris were set to visit the Vatican and will brief the holy city on the progress made in connection with the legal action taken against the suspects involved in the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.
Addressing the media, the Archbishop of Colombo, His Eminence, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith condemned the Government and the Prime Minister over the latter’s scheduled visit to the Vatican.
The Archbishop said the Government was attempting to conceal the truth behind the Easter attacks and those involved in the terror attacks.
Following the Cardinal’s statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured that at no stage has PM Rajapaksa requested nor has he received an invitation to visit the Vatican for an audience with His Holiness, the Pope. (NewsWire)