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Sri Lankan President meets Subrahmanyam Jaishankar; Government terms visit as important

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday met External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Day 1 of his two-day visit to India.

Wickremesinghe, who arrived in Delhi on Thursday evening, is expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

“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,” Jaishankar tweeted after the meeting.

Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told reporters that it is an important visit.

“This is a very important visit. It’s a neighbouring country with whom we have very important relationships. We have multifaceted relations… But certainly we have discussed with Sri Lanka, issues of how closer economic cooperation, how our growth of our economy, they can benefit from there, how we can discuss common security issues, how we can discuss common areas of development cooperation, new projects, how Indian investments can be involved,” Bagchi said in response to a question on the focus of Wickremesinghe’s visit.

“As you know, we’ve also been helping them or have helped them with their economic problems that have happened in the recent…earlier this year. And I think this will be a good base to take forward our conversation,” he added.

“This is Wickremesinghe’s first visit to India after assuming charge as the President (of Sri Lanka). He’s, of course, been here a number of times before, and we look forward to the visit to impart a new momentum to the relationship between the two countries,” Bagchi said.

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