India, Sri Lanka decide to strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism, expand trade & investment ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India and Sri Lanka have decided to strengthen and deepen cooperation in combating terrorism. Mr Modi said, terrorism is a big problem in the region and India and Sri Lanka have fought it befittingly. Prime Minister was talking to media persons after holding talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa in New Delhi yesterday.

Mr Modi expressed hope that the Sri Lankan government will fulfill expectations of Tamil people for equality, justice, peace and respect in the island nation. Prime Minister said stability, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka is not only in India’s interest but also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean Region.

In their talks, the two prime ministers deliberated on the entire gamut of bilateral ties and resolved to further boost trade and investment. Mr Modi said, India has been a trusted partner in Sri Lanka’s development and will continue to assist the country in its journey for peace and development. Prime Minister said, the new lines of credit announced last year will strengthen development cooperation between the two neighbours. Referring to the fishermen issue, Mr Modi said, both sides have decided to adopt a humanitarian approach in dealing with it.

Mahinda Rajapaksa thanked Mr Modi for his priority to Neighbourhood First policy. He said, India is our closest neighbour and long-standing friend. The close historical links have provided solid foundation to our ties.

Mr Rajapaksa is on a five-day visit to India.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar called on the visiting dignitary and termed Sri Lanka as a partner in development, progress and security. A delegation of Congress Party led by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh also called on the Sri Lankan Prime Minister.

The visiting dignitary called on President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday evening. He is also scheduled to visit historic religious sites including Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Tirupati.

This is the first visit of Mr Rajapaksa abroad since he took over as Prime Minister.

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