New Delhi: At the invitation of the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka commencing Saturday (October 2).
The four-day visit to end on Tuesday (October 5) will be Mr Shringla's first to Sri Lanka as the Foreign Secretary.
"Sri Lanka occupies a central place in India's 'Neighbourhood First' policy. Foreign Secretary's visit signifies the importance both countries attach to strengthening their close and cordial relations in all spheres of mutual interest," an MEA statement said here.
The visit of the Foreign Secretary will provide an opportunity to review the bilateral ties, the progress of ongoing bilateral projects and ongoing cooperation to tackle Covid related disruptions.
Just a week back in New York, on the sidelines of UNGA, External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar met the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, G.L. Peiris.
"Pleased to meet Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, this time in his new capacity. A comprehensive discussion on our close relationship.Look forward to working with him to advance our shared agenda," Dr Jaishankar had tweeted on September 22 after meeting his Sri Lankan counterpart.
Sri Lankan Minister Peiris had briefed Dr Jaishankar about the pragmatic and tangible action taken to resolve residual matters after the end of the conflict in May 2009, citing the fact that the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, Defence Ministry and Justice Ministry were working collaboratively to address key issues, such as revisiting the Prevention of Terrorism Act,
and releasing LTTE prisoners.
Sri Lanka is also working towards empowering independent institutions and taking up matters such as the Office of Missing Persons, Office for Reparations, Office of National Unity and Reconciliation, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and the SDG Council.
This visit of the Indian Foreign Secretary is also coming in the backdrop of Colombo's keenness to boost defence ties with India.
Mr Shringla had earlier handled Indo-Lanka ties during his stint as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs.
India is keen to enhance people to people contacts and favours the need for a practical conclusion of the number of projects pending implementation in the island nation.
Lately, Sri Lanka has banned the Chinese 'organic' fertiliser overdetection of bacteria.