New Delhi [India], Nov 28 (ANI): Sri Lanka newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Thursday arrived in the national capital for a three-day visit to India, his first trip overseas since he took over this month.
Rajapaksa who is in the country on the special invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received at the airport by Union Minister V K Singh. He is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind.
The Sri Lankan President is leading a high-level delegation which includes Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle.
Earlier in the day, Gotabaya said that he is looking forward to strengthening bilateral relations with Prime Minister Modi and the Indian government.
"Leaving for my first state visit to India and looking forward to strengthening bilateral relations with Shri @narendramodi and Govt of India," Gotabaya tweeted.
On Friday, Rajapaksa will be accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and will lay a wreath at Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.
Rajapaksa will also call on External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
He is slated to attend a programme in the city on Saturday. Later in the evening, Rajapaksa will emplane for Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement, had said that the Indian government is ready to work very closely with the new government in Sri Lanka and expressed hope that it will fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil community living in the island nation.
70-year-old Rajapaksa had defeated United National Party (UNP) candidate Sajith Premadasa by more than 13 lakh votes in the recently-concluded presidential elections in Sri Lanka. He is the second member of the Rajapaksa family to become the president.
After the results of the Sri Lankan elections Modi had congratulated Rajapaksa over telephone on his electoral victory .
Prime Minister Modi had in his congratulatory message to Gotabaya on his victory had said that he looked forward to working closely with Sri Lankan President for deepening the close and fraternal ties between the two countries and for peace, prosperity as well as security in the region. (ANI)