Colombo: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on January 19 discussed cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, industry and health with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry.
“A good meeting with Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and other ministerial colleagues this evening in Colombo. Discussed India-Sri Lanka cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, industry and health,” tweeted Jaishankar. He conveyed India’s commitment to increase investment flows to Sri Lanka to hasten its economic recovery.
Jaishankar said he will be discussing the India-Sri Lanka partnership with Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, Minister of Ports, Shipping & Aviation of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dr Bandula Gunawardhana, Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Kanchana Wijesekera, Minister of Power and Energy.
“Conveyed our commitment to increasing investment flows to Sri Lanka to hasten its economic recovery. Look forward to my discussions with the leadership tomorrow morning.@alisabrypc, @DeSiripala, @banduladr, @kehelia_r, @kanchana_wij, @amanugama_dilum, @tharakabalasur1,” tweeted Jaishankar.
During his visit, Jaishankar will pay courtesy calls on President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minster Dinesh Gunawardena and other dignitaries, reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka press release.
Jaishankar will accompany Joint Secretary (IOR) Puneet Agrawal, Director Sandeep Kumar Bayyappu, Deputy Secretary (Sri Lanka) Nidhi Choudhary and Deputy Secretary Raghoo Puri from the Ministry of External Affairs.
Regarding Sri Lanka’s tour, the Ministry of External Affairs stated that Jaishankar’s visit will follow his earlier trips to the bankrupt country in January 2021 and March 2022. Sri Lanka is a close friend and neighbour, and India has always stood with the people of Sri Lanka.
“During the visit, EAM will call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and also hold discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs MUM Ali Sabry on the entire gamut of close India-Sri Lanka partnership and steps to strengthen it in all spheres,” the statement stated.
India and Sri Lanka share a good relationship. Under the “Neighbourhood First Policy,” India had extended aid worth USD 3.9 billion to help Sri Lanka sustain itself in face of the acute economic and financial crisis and meet its immediate needs such as medicines, cooking gas, oil and food items, Sri Lanka based news publication News 19 reported.
In February 2022, India in order to help Sri Lanka overcome its fuel shortage, signed an agreement for the supply of petroleum products worth US$ 500 million from the Indian Oil Company through a credit line.
This was expanded by an additional US$ 200 million worth of petroleum products in April 2022. India’s EXIM bank and State bank of India, for the import of essential commodities, extended export credit facilities worth US$ 1,500 million to Sri Lanka. India also concluded a US$ 400 million agreement with Sri Lanka to help preserve the country’s forex reserves.
Earlier Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe informed the parliament that talks with India and China on debt restructuring are successful. “We are continuing discussions in that regard and I am pleased to announce to this House that the discussions are currently successful,” read Sri Lankan President Media Division press release.