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Regional ties: PM Modi, Mahinda Rajapaksa to hold virtual bilateral meet tomorrow

This will be Prime Minister Modi’s first such virtual engagement with a neighbouring country. It will also be Sri Lanka PM Rajapaksa’s first diplomatic engagement with a leader of a foreign nation after he was sworn in on August 9.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: September 25, 2020 1:43:37 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa in New Delhi on Wednesday. (PTI photo)Both Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa chose India for their first overseas visit after winning the presidential election in November last year. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will take part in a virtual bilateral summit on Saturday.

This will be Prime Minister Modi’s first such virtual engagement with a neighbouring country. It will also be Sri Lanka PM Rajapaksa’s first diplomatic engagement with a leader of a foreign nation after he was sworn in on August 9.

MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India- Sri Lanka relations are marked by regular high-level exchanges. Such exchanges have provided momentum to mutual cooperation and ties which are multi-dimensional in nature, he said.

Prime Minister Modi has held regular interactions with both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

The virtual bilateral summit is preceded by the state visits of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Rajapaksa to India in November 2019 and February 2020 respectively.

Since then, leaders have kept in close touch and spoken to each other over the phone on several occasions—including in the context tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Srivastava said the summit will give an opportunity to the leaders to “comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries and give broad political direction for a strengthened and deepened collaborative partnership..”

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