A four-member delegation led by Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, including top finance ministry officials, on Thursday assured the Sri Lankan leadership that New Delhi is ready to help Colombo’s accelerated economic recovery by strengthening investment, connectivity and economic ties.
Delegation – comprising Ajay Seth, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance; Dr. V Ananth Nageswaran, Chief Economic Advisor; and Karthik Pandey, Joint Secretary, Indian Ocean Region, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) – met President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo.
India’s recent financial aid is $3.5 billion. New Delhi supported Colombo in March this year during meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and in other fora, including regional and multilateral organisations.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said Kwatra, along with Seth and Nageswaran, had “productive discussions” with President Rajapaksa on “the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support”.
During the meeting, the delegation underlined that India stands ready to help Sri Lanka accelerate economic recovery by promoting investment, connectivity and strengthening economic ties, they said. “(He) reiterated Sri Lanka’s centrality to India’s Neighborhood First policy. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the development of India-Lanka relations,” Bagchi said.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo said the talks were held “in a clear, cordial and constructive manner”. In a statement, it said the Indian delegation underlined that the recent economic, financial and humanitarian assistance of over US$3.5 billion to Sri Lanka guided by the “Neighbourhood First” policy and Security and Development for All in the Region (SAGAR) Was. Prime Minister’s Vision Narendra Modi,
“During the meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Indian side thanked the President of Sri Lanka for his commitment to the development of India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations. The two sides had a productive exchange of views on the current economic situation in Sri Lanka as well as India’s ongoing support.
In the meeting with Wickremesinghe, the two sides discussed in depth the efforts made towards Sri Lanka’s economy and economic recovery. “In this context, both sides highlighted the importance of promoting the India-Sri Lanka investment partnership, including in the areas of infrastructure, connectivity, renewable energy and deepening economic ties between the two countries,” the statement said. “
Kwatra also held a separate meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Aruni Wijewardene, where they agreed to work in close coordination towards strengthening diplomatic engagement and making bilateral visits at the earliest.
“The Sri Lankan side appreciated the continued support of the Government and the people of India over the years in various fields including counter-terrorism, maritime security, disaster management, humanitarian assistance, development cooperation, commercial engagement and people to people. -people relations,” the statement said.
It said the development assistance given by India is more than $5 billion.