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Foreign Secretary Kwatra meets Lanka President Rajapaksa, holds talks on situation in Lanka and India’s ongoing support

Colombo, June 23

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra on Thursday met Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during which they held “productive discussions” on the current situation in the island nation and India’s ongoing support to mitigate the unprecedented economic crisis in this country.

Kwatra told Rajapaksa that India, as a close friend, will extend its fullest support to Sri Lanka in overcoming the difficult situation, the newsfirst.lk website reported.

The Foreign Secretary was accompanied by Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance of India, Ajay Seth, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India Dr V Anantha Nageswaran and Joint Secretary of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Kartik Pande of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, it said.

The delegation reviewed the already provided assistance in terms of fuel, medicine, fertilizer and other essentials and said the Indian government is committed to support Sri Lanka, the report said.

In a tweet, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Kwatra, accompanied by Seth and Nageswaran, met President Rajapaksa and “held productive discussions on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support”.

During the meeting, the Indian delegation underlined that India stands ready to help Sri Lanka in quick economic recovery through promoting investments, connectivity and strengthening economic linkage, he said.

“Reiterated Sri Lanka’s centrality to India’s #NeighbourhoodFirst policy. Both sides reaffirmed commitment to development of India-Lanka ties,” Bagchi said.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948 which has prompted an acute shortage of essential items like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel across the island nation.

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