Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, on July 20, met with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is on a two-day official visit to India, and expressed confidence that his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi will strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
“Honoured to call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka during his India visit. Confident that his meeting with PM @narendramodi tomorrow will further strengthen our neighbourly bonds and take forward India’s Neighbourhood First and SAGAR policies,” Dr S Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Honoured to call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka during his India visit.
Confident that his meeting with PM @narendramodi tomorrow will further strengthen our neighborly bonds and take forward India’s Neighbourhood First and SAGAR policies.@RW_UNP pic.twitter.com/BiHsgVbhqG
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) July 20, 2023
Meanwhile, Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived in New Delhi on July 20, wherein he was welcomed by Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan.
Several artists also performed Garba at the airport to welcome the Sri Lankan President.
Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi noted that Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit would further boost the multi-prolonged partnership between India and Sri Lanka. Notably, it is Sri Lankan President’s first visit to India since assuming office.
Arindam Bagchi tweeted, “Warm welcome to President @RW_UNP of Sri Lanka on his maiden visit to India since assumption of the Office of President. Received by @MOS_MEA at the airport. The visit will further boost the multi-pronged – partnership.”
An opportunity to review and lend further momentum to the long-standing 🇮🇳-🇱🇰 ties, as the two countries celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations this year. pic.twitter.com/Ee6kikEpjZ
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) July 21, 2023
During his visit, President Ranil Wickremesinghe will meet his Indian counterpart Droupadi Murmu and discuss various issues of mutual interest with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian dignitaries, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.
Ranil Wickremesinghe is visiting India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit will reinforce the longstanding friendship between the two countries and explore avenues for enhanced connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors.
Arindam Bagchi said the two countries can hold discussions on common security issues, common areas of development cooperation, and new projects in investments.He said that India has been helping Sri Lanka in the face of its economic crisis.
“As you know, we have already been helping them or have helped them with their economic problems that happened earlier this year, and I think this will be a good base to take forward our conversation. This is the first visit of President Ranil Wickremesinghe as president. He has, of course, been here many times, and we look forward to the visit to impart new momentum to the relationship,” Arindam Bagchi said.
Meanwhile, India last week reaffirmed its commitment to the people of Sri Lanka to enable them to use the USD 1 billion Indian credit facility for the procurement of medicine, food and other essentials for one more year.
The External Affairs Minister of India, Dr S Jaishankar, recently underscored the importance of India’s “Neighbourhood First” Policy and highlighted the significant financial support of USD 4 billion provided by India to Sri Lanka last year.He also said that India was the first nation to extend assistance to Sri Lanka for debt restructuring and played a crucial role in securing financing assurances from the IMF.
MEA further noted in its release, “Sri Lanka is an important partner in India’s Neighbourhood First Policy and Vision SAGAR. The visit will reinforce the longstanding friendship between the two countries and explore avenues for enhanced connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors.”
On July 20, Arindam Bagchi said that Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India is a major one as the country has important, multifaceted relations with the island nation.
“This is a very important visit, it is a neighbouring country with whom we have very important relationship, we have multifaceted relations,” Arindam Bagchi said during MEA briefing on July 20.