Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to meet Indian President today


Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to meet Indian President Pranaab Mukherji today.

India offered Sri Lanka full support to strengthen connectivity between the two countries to deepen human and economic links that will benefit all sections of the two societies when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held talks in New Delhi yesterday.

Indian Prime Minister issuing a statement after the meeting that took place at the Hyderabad House said Sri Lanka's progress is important for the two countries, South Asia and the maritime region.

Both sides inked four agreements, including renewal of an MoU for Indian grant assistance for implementation of Small Development Projects and one for the supply of medical equipment to the General Hospital at Vavuniya.

Welcoming the significant developments in bilateral relations since March, including the currency swap arrangement, Modi expressed hope that progress on key bilateral initiatives and projects will gather speed now.

The two leaders agreed that both countries want the bilateral trade to grow and become more balanced for Sri Lanka and discussed how to achieve those goals in a more open and competitive Indian market, including bilateral arrangements for trade and investments.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Indian Congress Leader Sonia Ghandi.

 Similarly the delegation including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met India’s Highways, Transport and Navy Minister Nithin Gatkaari and held discussions last afternoon.

 While discussion had been held at this meeting with regard to Indo-Sri Lanka fisheries problem, reports say that the Prime Minister said that in future bottom-trawler fishing would not be allowed within the Sri Lankan sea boundaries.

 While India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhaan promised at the discussion to provide facilities for one of the Economic Zones expected to be set up in Sri Lanka and he also agreed to offer assistance for repairing the Trincomalee oil tanks.

 Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s choice of India for his first foreign visit reflected the great importance the Sri Lankan Government attached to the bilateral relationship.

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