Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Line of Credit of 400 million dollars to Sri Lanka to boost the island nation’s development.
In a joint press statement after meeting visiting Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Delhi this afternoon, Mr Modi said that India will also extend 50 million dollars Line of Credit to Sri Lanka to fight terrorism.
He assured the Sri Lankan President of India’s full assistance in taking his country in the path of rapid development.
Describing the meeting with Mr Rajapaksa as fruitful, the Prime Minister said, a strong and prosperous Sri Lanka is not only in the interest of India but also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean region.
He said, strengthening mutual cooperation in dealing with terrorism was discussed in detail. Mr Modi added that Sri Lankan police officers are receiving training on countering terrorism in prominent Indian institutions.
He said, India gives priority to its relations with Sri Lanka under its Neighbourhood First’ Policy. He expressed confidence that the Sri Lankan Government will carry forward the process of reconciliation to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace and respect.
The Sri Lankan President said in his statement that the discussions were cordial and reassuring and a major focus area of the deliberations was on security cooperation. He said, they discussed the fishermen’s issue in length and Sri Lankan Government will take steps to release the boats belonging to India in their custody.
Earlier, speaking to reporters after a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mr Gotabaya said, he would strive to take his country’s bilateral relationship with India to a very high level. He also said, both India and Sri Lanka need to work together on issues relating to security.
Mr Rajapaksha also met External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues.
This is Mr Gotabaya’s first overseas visit since assuming office. He will call on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhawan this evening.