Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra says the Government of India will extend its fullest support to Sri Lanka in overcoming the current difficult situation as a close friend.
The Indian Foreign Secretary made these remarks during a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Colombo this morning (23).
The President’s Media Division (PMD) said the Indian delegation arrived on the island to consider further financial assistance to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has already received essential food items, fuel, medicine, and fertilizer under the Indian credit line facility. The Indian delegation stated that the Government of India and the political authorities are committed to providing continued support to Sri Lanka.
On behalf of the government and the people of Sri Lanka, the President conveyed his gratitude to the Government of India for its significant role in assisting Sri Lanka in difficult times.
Both parties discussed the future course of action of the Indian aid programme to stabilize and revive the Sri Lankan economy, at length. The delegation also expressed confidence that the country would recover soon overcoming existing challenges.
Indian Economic Relations Secretary Ajay Seth, Chief Economic Adviser Dr. V Anantha Nageswaran, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay, Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob, Joint Secretary (IOR) Kartik Pande, and Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath were also present at this discussion.
Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said that the visiting Indian delegation also met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today.
In a statement, the High Commission said the talks between the two sides were held in a frank, cordial, and constructive manner.
The Indian delegation underscored that the unprecedented recent economic, financial, and humanitarian assistance of over US$ 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka was, guided by ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and the Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) vision of Prime Shri Minister Narendra Modi.
During the call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Indian side thanked the President of Sri Lanka for his commitment to the development of India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations. Both sides had a productive exchange of views on the current economic situation in Sri Lanka as well as India’s ongoing support.
In the meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the two sides had an in-depth discussion on the Sri Lankan economy and efforts undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka toward achieving economic recovery. In this context, both sides highlighted the importance of promoting the India-Sri Lanka investment partnership including in the fields of infrastructure, connectivity, renewable energy, and deepening economic linkages between the two countries.
The Foreign Secretary of India also had a separate meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Ambassador Aruni Wijewardena. They agreed to work in close coordination towards strengthening diplomatic engagement and undertaking a bilateral visit at an early date.
The Sri Lankan side appreciated the consistent support of the Government and people of India over the past few years in a variety of fields such as counter-terrorism, maritime security, disaster management, humanitarian assistance, development cooperation, commercial engagement, and people-to-people ties.
The Sri Lankan side also welcomed the support extended by India during the meetings at the IMF in March this year and on subsequent occasions in different forums including regional and plurilateral organizations. They further acknowledged the initiatives taken by the Indian leadership in encouraging other countries to support Sri Lanka in dealing with the post-COVID normalization of economic activity. (NewsWire)