Jaishankar congratulates Dinesh Gunawardena for taking charge of Sri Lanka's Foreign Office

New Delhi [India], Nov 22 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday wished his newly-appointed Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena after the latter took charge of the office.

"Congratulations to Dinesh Gunawardena, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. Look forward to working with him," the minister tweeted.

Gunawardena took oath in the presence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat earlier today.

In addition to taking charge of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Gunawardena was also appointed as the Minister of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, the Sri Lankan media reported.

On Thursday, the Ministry of External Affairs said that the Indian government is ready to work very closely with the new government in Sri Lanka and expressed hope that it will fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil community living in the island nation.

"India is ready to closely work with the newly formed government in Sri Lanka and deepening our age-old relationship with the country. Our relationship with Sri Lanka or any other country is not dependent on a third country. It is entirely independent of any other factor," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a weekly briefing.

The spokesperson noted that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Colombo as a special envoy of the Prime Minister a few days ago to convey his wishes and greetings to the newly-elected President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The spokesperson stated further that during the first part of Jaishankar's meeting with Gotabaya, the discussion was focused on extending the bilateral relationship.

He added that Jaishankar also conveyed to the President about India's expectations that the Sri Lankan government will take forward the process of national reconciliation to arrive at a solution that meets the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, justice, peace and dignity.

On his part, Gotabaya in a statement reaffirmed that he will be the President of all Sri Lankans irrespective of their race or religious identities and without creating a distinction on whether they voted for him or not, he said. (ANI)