Written by Zulfick Farzan

06 Jan, 2021 | 2:53 pm

Colombo (News 1st); Sri Lanka has expressed interest in accessing vaccines from India, said Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar on Wednesday (06), during a joint media briefing with his counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena.

Jaishankar added, reflecting on India’s Neighbourhood First policy, India has supported Sri Lanka’s efforts to tackle Covid through timely medical assistance.

“I carry the message of an India that will always be a dependable partner and reliable friend, open to strengthening its relationship with Sri Lanka on the basis of mutual trust, mutual interest, mutual respect and mutual sensitivity,” he added.

Jaishankar went on to note the Indian economy has also shown strong signs of recovery in the last few months and they are confident that this will be full-blown by the next quarter adding the developments will obviously have a positive impact on Sri Lanka.

Both sides had discussed multiple proposals, including in infrastructure, energy, connectivity, etc. and their early implementation is obviously in mutual interest and would definitely accelerate Sri Lanka’s economic recovery, said the External Affairs Minister of India.

Indian business is strongly interested in investing in Sri Lanka he said adding delegations discussed important opportunities including in special zones for pharmaceutical manufacturing as also in tourism.

“Our Lines of Credit have re-built connectivity, facilitating the restoration of normalcy. We are cognizant of the domestic priorities of the Sri Lankan Government, including in agriculture and technology, education and skill development, and urban development,” he added.

“As we promote peace and well-being in the region, India has been strongly committed to the unity, stability, and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. Our support for the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka is longstanding, as indeed for an inclusive political outlook that encourages ethnic harmony,” he went on to note.

It is in Sri Lanka’s own interest that the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace, and dignity within a united Sri Lanka are fulfilled and applies equally to the commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government on meaningful devolution, including the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, said Dr. Jaishankar.

The progress and prosperity of Sri Lanka will surely be advanced as a consequence, he said.

India stands ready to enhance Sri Lanka’s capabilities to meet growing maritime and security challenges, said the Indian External Affairs Minister adding India naturally looks forward to an early return of its fishermen.

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