New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) The virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of time-tested bilateral ties, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
At a virtual media briefing, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the summit is expected to further deepen the collaborative partnership between the two countries on key issues of mutual interest.
'A virtual bilateral summit under challenging circumstances posed by COVID-19 testifies to the deep-rooted civilisational ties and shared heritage between the two neighbouring countries,' he said.
The two leaders are expected to deliberate on a host of issues like ways to further deepen anti-terror cooperation, boost overall defence and trade ties as well as implementation of India's development projects in Sri Lanka.
The long-pending Tamil issue in Sri Lanka is also likely to figure in the talks.
'The summit will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries and give broad political direction for a strengthened and deepened collaborative partnership on key issues of mutual interest,' Srivastava said.
He said the summit will be Prime Minister Modi’s first such virtual engagement with a neighbouring country while it will be Rajapaksa’s first diplomatic engagement with a leader of a foreign country after he was sworn in as prime minister last month.
Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lankan prime minister for a fresh term on August 9 after his party, Sri Lanka People's Front, secured a two-thirds majority in the parliamentary polls. PTI MPB RDM RDM