Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday held talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa covering the entire expanse of bilateral ties between the two countries including in areas of defence and security. In today’s session, the two leaders discussed the joint economic projects in Sri Lanka and also about enhancing trade and investment relations.
PM Modi said that India and Sri Lanka are neighbours as well as close friends. “We share common bonds. Terrorism is a big problem in our region, both of us have fought it befittingly. We will further increase our cooperation against terror,” he said. The PM added: “We deliberated on Tamil issue with an open mind; hope Sri Lanka will fulfill the aspiration of Tamil people.”
Thanking Modi for his “government’s neighbourhood first policy and the priority he attaches to Sri Lanka”, Rajapaksa said that part of their discussions centred around security of the two countries. “India has always helped us in countering terrorism. It is our closest neighbour, long-standing friend; as close historical links provided solid foundation to our ties.”
Mahinda Rajapaksa, elder brother of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arrived here on Friday on a five-day visit, his first overseas tour after being appointed as prime minister of the island nation in November last year.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the Sri Lankan Prime Minister. After his official engagement in Delhi, Mahinda Rajapaksa will travel to Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Tirupati.
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