S Jaishankar On 2-Day Visit To Sri Lanka

Guwahati: S. Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs will travel to Sri Lanka for business from January 19 to 20, 2023.

According to a news statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, Jaishankar will meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry during his tour and will also make courtesy calls to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and other dignitaries.

Jaishankar will be joined by representatives from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, including Joint Secretary (IOR) Puneet Agrawal, Director Sandeep Kumar Bayyappu, Deputy Secretary (Sri Lanka) Nidhi Choudhary, and Deputy Secretary Raghoo Puri.

The Ministry of External Affairs noted that Jaishankar’s visit to Sri Lanka will follow his past visits there in January 2021 and March 2022. India has always supported Sri Lanka’s people, who are both a close friend and neighbour.

“During the visit, EAM will call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and also hold discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs MUM Ali Sabry on the entire gamut of close India-Sri Lanka partnership and steps to strengthen it in all spheres,” the statement stated.

Relations between India and Sri Lanka are good. According to Sri Lanka-based news outlet News 19, India provided aid of USD 3.9 billion under the “Neighborhood First Policy” to help Sri Lanka survive the severe economic and financial crisis and meet its immediate requirements, including food, cooking gas, and oil.

In order to assist Sri Lanka in overcoming its fuel deficit, India struck a deal in February 2022 for the delivery of petroleum products from the Indian Oil Company for USD 500 million through a credit line.

In April 2022, this was increased by an extra $200 million in petroleum products.

For the import of necessities, India’s EXIM bank and State bank of India provided Sri Lanka with export credit facilities of USD 1,500 million. In order to assist Sri Lanka in maintaining its foreign exchange reserves, India and Sri Lanka also reached a $400 million arrangement.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the president of Sri Lanka, earlier notified the legislature that effective debt restructuring negotiations have been held with China and India.

“We are continuing discussions in that regard and I am pleased to announce to this House that the discussions are currently successful,” read Sri Lankan President Media Division press release. 

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