Lankan FM meets Indian PM and FM strengthening bilateral ties
Minister of External Affairs, Tilak Marapana’s first official overseas visit after being appointed as Sri Lanka’s new Foreign Minister was to India where he had a discussion with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and passed on salutations from both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
The Indian PM interpreted Marapana’s decision to make India his first official stop as a sign of the intimate relationship that closely linked the two countries.
The government news portal stated that Indian Prime Minister Modi while welcoming the Foreign Minister Marapana stated that coming to India on his first overseas visit is a reflection of close partnership between the two countries. It was re-emphasised that as close neighbours, and more importantly, as the best of friends, India and Sri Lanka could continue to remain engaged and work together for the benefit of the two countries and the region. Prime Minister Modi renewed his assurances that India will stand by Sri Lanka’s forward march towards progress and prosperity.
Issuing a statement the Indian government said “Mr Tilak Marapana, minister of foreign affairs of Sri Lanka, paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi today afternoon. The Prime Minister congratulated Mr Tilak Marapana on assuming his new responsibility as foreign minister of Sri Lanka. The Prime Minister referred to his fruitful visit to Sri Lanka in May for the International Vesak Day. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the high importance that India attaches to its relations with Sri Lanka. Both countries enjoy deep and broad-based ties. The Prime Minister conveyed that he looked forward to continue to work closely with the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to further strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation.”
Marapana also met with his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj at Hyderabad House to deliberate on subjects of common significance, concentrating more on topics that would further the execution of economic plans.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs Prasad Kariyawasam, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in India Chitranganee Wagiswara, Senior Director General of the South Asia and SAARC Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Asoka Girihagama also accompanied Marapana on his visit.¹
With India being Sri Lanka’s closest and one of its largest trading partners, furthering bilateral ties between the two countries is important. With the ETCA trade relations with India have further strengthened and opportunities for potential investors have increased significantly.
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