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India to extend full support to Sri Lanka, says Foreign Secy

New Delhi, June 23

In a surprise visit to Sri Lanka, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra has assured that India will extend its full support to the economically beleaguered country in overcoming its difficult situation as a close friend.

Productive talks held

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra met President Rajapaksa and held productive discussions on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support. Arindam Bagchi, MEA Spokesperson

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948 which has led to shortage of essential items.

Kwatra made the sudden visit to the island as the head of an Indian delegation that included Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran.

The Foreign Secretary made the remarks during a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said the President’s media unit.

In a tweet, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Kwatra “held productive discussions on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support”. The Indian team arrived in Colombo to consider further financial assistance to Sri Lanka.

The island nation has already received essential food items, fuel, medicine and fertilisers under the Indian credit line facility. Both parties discussed the future course of action of the Indian aid programme to stabilise and revive the Sri Lankan economy.

The other members of the delegation included Economic Relations Secretary Ajay Seth, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay, Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob and Joint Secretary (IOR) Kartik Pande.

Sri Lanka also plans to hold a donor conference with China, India and Japan, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. “We need the support of India, Japan and China, who have been historic allies,” he noted, adding a special team from the US Treasury would visit next week.

The delegation also met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and discussed Sri Lanka’s economic situation.

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, Bagchi said. The delegation touched down in Colombo by a special flight and spent only a few hours before flying back.

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