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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Indian EAM S. Jaishankar departs after concluding Sri Lanka visit

Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar has departed after concluding his two-day visit to Sri Lanka.

Soon after he arrived on the island last evening, Jaishankar called on his Sri Lankan counterpart Minister Ali Sabry for bilateral talks, during which he reiterated India’s commitment to increase investment flows to Sri Lanka to hasten the island’s economic recovery.

Jaishankar’s visit comes a day after India officially conveyed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it strongly supports Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan.

During his meeting with President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Jaishankar noted that all bilateral creditors of Sri Lanka must take proactive steps to facilitate the island’s recovery.

“India decided not to wait on others but to do what we believe is right. We extended financing assurances to the IMF to clear the way for Sri Lanka to move forward.”

He has handed over a letter from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting President Wickremesinghe to visit India at the earliest possible to discuss how the partnership with India can facilitate the island’s economic recovery.

Emphasizing that his visit to Sri Lanka is a statement about Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to the ‘neighbourhood first’ policy, Jaishankar said reiterated that India would continue to stand by Sri Lanka in this hour of need. He explained that the primary purpose of his visit at this time is to express India’s solidarity with Sri Lanka during these difficult moments.

Jaishankar later called on PM Dinesh Gunawardena and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa.

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