India, Sri Lanka explore ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties
Tue, Feb 8, 2022, 10:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.
Feb 08, Colombo: At the invitation of External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris, accompanied by a 2-member official delegation, visited India on an official visit from 06-08 February 2022.
This is the first visit of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to India in his current term.
EAM met the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka for delegation level talks 07 February 2022.
Both Ministers discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and explored ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties between India and Sri Lanka, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
Dr. Jaishankar underscored the priority accorded to Sri Lanka by India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) vision and the ‘Neighborhood First’ policy.
He called for expeditiously taking forward mutually beneficial projects, including proposals to enhance air and sea connectivity between India and Sri Lanka to reinforce people to people linkages, economic and investment initiatives, additional steps to enhance Sri Lanka’s energy security, keeping the shared maritime domain safe from various contemporary threats and cooperation in combating COVID-19 pandemic.
EAM conveyed that India would always stand with Sri Lanka during its times of need. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister expressed gratitude for India’s recent assistance and updated EAM on the steps taken by Government of Sri Lanka on human rights and reconciliation.
Recalling the positive impact of India’s developmental and rehabilitation support, EAM emphasized that Sri Lanka’s interests are best served by ensuring equality, justice, peace and respect for the Tamil people within a united Sri Lanka. Devolution of power is an important aspect of this process.
Both sides reiterated the longstanding consensus to handle fishermen issue through humanitarian approach and refrain from the use of violence in dealing with incidents along the IMBL. They agreed that bilateral mechanisms should meet early, starting with the Joint Working Group on Fisheries.
Noting that this year marks 75 year of independence and establishment of diplomatic relations, both leaders agreed to mark the occasion in a suitable way.
The two Ministers also exchanged views on cooperation in regional platforms like BIMSTEC and Colombo Security Conclave. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister invited EAM to visit Sri Lanka.
During the visit, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister also met National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Shri Harsh Vardhan Shringla.