Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to find a “firm” solution to the “thorny” fishermen issue. The Lankan President made the demand during a meeting with Modi where the two leaders reviewed bilateral cooperation in a whole host of areas, including energy and health. There was a discussion on the thorny issue of fishermen. President Sirisena said he wanted a firm solution on the issue. Modi agreed with him and said “we must find a proper solution to this long festering issue,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said after the meeting held ahead of the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit.
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“As you know we have invited the Sri Lankan fisheries minister to India and we hope at that time, the discussions would lead to some kind of mutually acceptable outcome,” Swarup said.
“The PM briefed Sirisena on the Uri terror attack. “He noted the support Sri Lanka had provided to India, and expressed his gratitude to people and government of Sri Lanka,” he said.
“Modi said that as a result of the solidarity that the countries of the region had shown after the Uri terror attacks, a message had gone across that people in our region want peace and they recognise that the biggest challenge to peace and prosperity is terrorism,” Swarup said. Sirisena said Sri Lanka opposed all forms and manifestations of terrorism, he said. The two leaders reviewed bilateral cooperation in a whole host of areas like energy and health. “Modi welcomed Sirisena to India and thanked him for accepting the invitation to participate in the Summit,” he said.
Sirisena said “this is another occasion when the bonds between Sri Lanka and India are further strengthened”. “He also alluded to the long standing relations between the two countries,” Swarup added.
The two leaders reviewed the development cooperation and partnership between India and Sri Lanka, Swarup said. The Lankan leader thanked Modi for gifting ambulances to western and southern provinces and hoped this will be extended to other areas as well, Swarup said. “He briefed Modi on progress in rehabilitation projects in the northern province,” he said. Modi later met the Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay, the MEA spokesperson said.