Written by Staff Writer
08 Feb, 2020 | 8:53 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st):- Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is currently on an official tour in India, met with the Indian President Ramnath Kovind this evening (February 8) for a discussion. Prior to the meeting with the Indian President, the Prime Minister joined his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi for a joint media briefing.
Speaking following the discussion Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, said:
“A part of our discussions centered on co-operation in regard to the security of our two countries. India has always assisted Sri Lanka to enhance our capabilities in intelligence and counter-terrorism, and we look forward to continued support in this regard. We have had to re-think our national security strategies, and assistance from India in this regard would be much appreciated. I also appreciate Prime Minister Modi’s offers of USD 400 million as a credit line to enhance the economy of Sri Lanka and another USD 50 million credit line for our efforts in combating terrorism. We discussed how to follow-up on these offers. Another topic of our discussion was the progress of ongoing projects that are being implemented in Sri Lanka with Indian assistance, including housing and community-related projects. I requested Prime Minister Modi to consider further assistance to expand the housing project to all parts of the island. Doing so will provide significant benefits to many Sri Lankans living in rural parts of the country.”
Meanwhile the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said:
“Sri Lankan stability, security, and prosperity are not only in India’s interest but also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean region. And therefore, our close cooperation is valuable for peace and prosperity even in the Indo-Pacific region. In line with our government’s “Neighborhood First” policy and “Sagar” doctrine, we attach special priority to relations with Sri Lanka. In our conversation today, we discussed furthering our cooperation against terrorism. I am happy that Sri Lankan police officers have started participating in anti-terrorism courses in India’s premier training institutes. Recent direct flight debuts between Chennai and Jaffna. This is part of our efforts in this direction. This direct flight will increase connectivity options for the Tamil population of the northern region of Sri Lanka.”
Prior to the joint media briefing, the two leaders held talks at the Hyderabad House in India. Prime Minister Rajapaksa also then met with India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in New Delhi. The two delegations discussed the long-standing concerns of the fishing communities of both countries. Agreeing that this is a problem that benefits neither side, both countries agreed to work more closely together to find a practical solution in a way that benefits all affected fishing communities.
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