PM Narendra Modi Meets Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

PM Narendra Modi Meets Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday met Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the newly-elected President of Sri Lanka, on the latter’s three-day visit to India. Both world leaders held talks on various bilateral and global issues.

Welcoming Gotabaya on his first overseas visit as Sri Lankan Prez, PM Modi tweeted-

“Happy to receive @GotabayaR on his first overseas visit as the President of Sri Lanka.

His visit is a testimony to the time-tested ties between India and Sri Lanka and will help strengthen our bonds as well as energise our partnership.”

PM Modi offered a credit line of $400 million for infrastructure projects and $50 million for counter-terror measures to the neighboring nation. They also agreed upon the speed-up of an earlier $100 million credit line’s utilization. He said-

“I trust this will benefit Sri Lanka’s economy. Also, it will give momentum to projects of mutual benefit.”

PM Modi said that the peace and development in both the nations are closely associated, assuring Rajapaksa that India is committed to the country’s development and security. He said during the joint press meet-

“India’s cooperation is always with Sri Lanka. A stable, safe and prosperous Sri Lanka is in the interest not only of India, but also of the entire Indian ocean region…India is Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour and a trusted partner… I have offered India’s commitment to Sri Lanka’s development.”

The capitals of both countries, Colombo and New Delhi, would work closely on security-related and economic matters. The security becomes even more important in bilateral ties after a series of bombings by suspected terrorists, killing more than 250 people in the island nation back in April.

PM Modi tweeted-

“Had in-depth conversations with President @GotabayaR on aspects relating to security. The menace of terror has plagued both India and Sri Lanka. Our nations will cooperate in counter terror training.”

Moreover, PM Modi offered cooperation in the development of the eastern and northern parts of Sri Lanka, which are home to huge populations of minority Tamils.

PM Modi said the Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa shares the vision of ethnic harmony with him. He said-

“I am fully confident that the Sri Lanka government will further the process of reconciliation to meet the aspirations of the Tamil people regarding equality, justice, peace and dignity. This also includes the 13th amendment to the (Sri Lanka’s) Constitution. India will be a trusted partner in developing the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.”

Watch both leaders address the joint press meet here:

After a ceremonial welcome, Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa told media that he would like to advance the historical ties between the nations for the benefit of the people.

Before the talks, Sri Lankan Prez Rajapaksa said-

“My expectations are very high and I want to, during my tenure as the president, bring relationship between India and Sri Lanka into a high level. We, of course, have a longstanding friendship, historically, culturally and politically. At the same time, we need to work together for the benefit of India and the people of Sri Lanka on security as well as economic development.”

He added-

“During my discussions, I want to ensure that we are together for the benefit of our people.”

After the “productive” bilateral talks with SL Prez Gotabaya, PM Modi tweeted-

“President @GotabayaR,

Today’s talks were very productive.

We exchanged views on many bilateral and global subjects.

India’s is committed to support our sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka in their developmental aspirations.”

And after holding a bilateral meeting, Sri Lankan Prez Rajapaksa announced releasing of Indian fishermen’s boats that are held by Sri Lanka. He said-

“We discussed at length the fishermen’s issue. We will take steps to release the boats belonging to India, in our custody.”

In another tweet, PM Modi wrote-

“Sri Lanka is at the core of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and Sagar doctrine.

I am glad that our efforts, be it in infra projects, Indian Housing Project, solar projects and community development projects will bring a positive difference in the lives of many Sri Lankans.”

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