Jaishankar meets Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, discusses ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation

ANI
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External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (Source: Twitter)
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (Source: Twitter)

Colombo [Sri Lanka], January 7 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Wednesday met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during his three-day visit to the country, and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation on various issues.

Taking to Twitter, Jaishankar said that the talks followed up on the progress made since the virtual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Thank Prime Minister @PresRajapaksa for his warm welcome this evening. Discussed further strengthening our close cooperation in so many areas, following up on the progress made since the Virtual Summit with PM @narendramodi," he tweeted.

"Sri Lanka has a central place in our NeighbourhoodFirst and SAGAR policies," he said in another tweet.

Earlier today, S Jaishankar and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa met on Wednesday to discuss ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

"Met with the minister of external affairs of India, Dr S Jaishankar at Presidential Secretariat today," Rajapaksa said in a tweet.

He further said, "Strengthening the bilateral relationship between SriLanka and India through post COVID19 economy development, Health care, Power Generation etc. were discussed thoroughly."

Jaishankar also called on the Sri Lankan President and conveyed warm greetings from PM Modi.

"Discussed cooperation for post-Covid health and economic recovery. India will be a reliable partner in Sri Lanka's development," he said in a tweet.

In his remarks at a press conference, Jaishankar said India stands ready "to enhance Sri Lanka's capabilities to meet growing maritime and security challenges".

He said India is looking forward to the early return of its fishermen detained in Lanka.

"India and Sri Lanka joint working group on fisheries met recently where all outstanding issues were discussed. We look forward to the early return of our fishermen," he said.

This is the first foreign visit by Jaishankar in 2021, and also the first by a foreign dignitary to Sri Lanka in the new year. (ANI)