Jaishankar to begin 3-day visit to Sri Lanka on Tuesday

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New Delhi, Jan 4 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay a three-day visit to Sri Lanka beginning Tuesday during which he will hold discussions with the Sri Lankan leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jaishankar is travelling to the island nation from December 5 to 7 following an invitation by his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena.

'He will hold discussions with his counterpart and Sri Lanka's leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations, the MEA said in a statement.

It said it will be the first foreign visit by the external affairs minister in 2021, and also the first by a foreign dignitary to Sri Lanka in the new year.

'As such, it signifies the priority both countries attach to strengthening their close and cordial relations in all spheres of mutual interest,' the MEA said.

Jaishankar is visiting Colombo over three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa held a virtual summit during which the two sides agreed to further expand ties in a range of areas such as anti-terror cooperation, maritime security and trade and investment.

In the talks, India's development partnership in Sri Lanka was discussed and both sides reached an understanding to extend a pact on High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs) for a five-year period beginning 2020. PTI MPB SMN SMN