India will give full support to Sri Lanka: Foreign Secretary

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 23 June

During a surprise visit to Sri Lanka, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra has assured that India will extend its full support to the financially crippled country as a close friend in recovering from its difficult situation.

productive talks took place

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra called on President Rajapaksa and had fruitful discussions on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support. Arindam Bagchi, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, leading to a shortage of essential commodities.

Kwatra made a surprise visit to the island as the head of an Indian delegation, which included Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) V Anantha Nageswaran.

The president’s media wing said the foreign secretary made the remarks during a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

In a tweet, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Kwatra had “productive discussions on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support”. The Indian team reached Colombo to consider providing further financial aid to Sri Lanka.

The island nation has already received essential food items, fuel, medicine and fertilizers under the Indian Credit Line Facility. The two sides discussed the future course of the Indian aid program to stabilize and revive Sri Lanka’s economy.

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) Karthik Pandey.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that there are also plans to hold a donor conference with China, India and Japan. “We need the support of India, Japan and China, who have been historical allies,” he said.

The delegation also met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and discussed the economic situation in Sri Lanka.

During the meeting, the Indian delegation underlined that India stands ready to help Sri Lanka accelerate economic recovery through promoting investments, connectivity and strengthening economic ties, Bagchi said. The delegation arrived in Colombo by a special flight and spent only a few hours before flying back.