Colombo, October 2 (PTI) Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla began his four-day visit to Sri Lanka on Saturday, during which he will meet with senior leaders, including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and will pass review bilateral relations between India and the island nation.
Shringla arrived today at the invitation of his Lankan counterpart Jayanath Colombage, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
“The visit will contribute to the long-standing multifaceted relationship and strengthen the bilateral partnership between the two countries,” the ministry said in a press release.
Shringla will also visit the central district of Kandy, the eastern port district of Trincomalee and the northern city of Jaffna.
This is his first visit to Lanka after serving as foreign minister in January last year.
Shringla’s visit will provide an opportunity to review bilateral relations, the progress of ongoing bilateral projects and ongoing cooperation to deal with Covid-related disruption, the Indian High Commission said on Friday.
His visit came days after the Indian multinational conglomerate Adani Group, headquartered in Ahmedabad, reached an agreement with the government-owned port authority of Lanka to develop the international container terminal west of the Colombo port.
The $ 700 million build-operate-transfer deal is the largest foreign investment ever in the island nation’s port sector, the Lankan government said.
Announcing Shringla’s visit, the Foreign Office (MEA) said on Friday that Lanka was central to India’s “neighborhood first” policy and Shringla’s visit signified the importance the two countries attach to strengthening. their close and cordial relations in all spheres of mutual interest.
His visit comes at a time when Lanka is in the throes of economic hardship and he will likely assess whether India could provide assistance to the island nation to remedy the situation.
We learn that questions relating to the construction of the container terminal west of the port of Colombo are also likely to appear during the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the neighboring country.
During his talks in Colombo, Sringla is also expected to reiterate India’s point of view on the long-outstanding Tamil issue.
India has consistently called on Sri Lanka to honor its commitments to protect the interests of the Tamil community and preserve the character of the island nation as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society.
The Tamil community in Sri Lanka has called for the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which provides for the devolution of power to them. The 13th Amendment was introduced after the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement. PTI CORR SCY AKJ SCY
Disclaimer: – This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI