Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to reach New Delhi today

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa will arrive in New Delhi today on a five-day state visit to India. During the visit, Mr Rajapaksa will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. and call on President Ram Nath Kovind.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will call on him. He will be accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan on Saturday. He will also visit Rajghat to pay tributes to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.    

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister is also scheduled to visit Varanasi, Sarnath, Gaya and Tirupati. 

During the visit, a host of issues will come up for discussion, including details of projects to be taken up under a fresh 450 million US dollars line of credit announced by India during President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s visit last November. 

This is the first visit of PM Rajapaksa abroad since he took over the post in last November and indicative of the continuous high-level engagement between the two neighbours.

A statement by Prime Minister Rajapksa’s office said, the scheduled meetings will build on the strong relationship that already exists between the two countries and include discussions on politics, trade, development, defence, culture and tourism, among others.

The two sides will also discuss to strengthen people to people contacts and a new air service from Colombo to Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh may be announced. 

The statement further said, the two delegations are expected to discuss key areas under the defence and maritime security initiatives that include the Sri Lanka-India Annual Defence Dialogue and the trilateral maritime security cooperation with India and the Maldives.

The proposed Indian assistance to enhance training opportunities for Sri Lankan public officials and vocational training will also come up for discussions during the meetings. 

Prime Minister Rajapaksa is also scheduled to visit historic religious sites including Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Tirupati during the visit. 

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