Feb 08, Colombo: India, as a trusted partner in Sri Lanka’s development efforts, will increase cooperation with Sri Lanka on enhancing economic, business, and investment relations, people-to-people connectivity and regional security, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said meeting with Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is on an official visit to India, and his delegation met with Prime Minister Modi Saturday at the Hyderabad House in Delhi for bilateral discussions.
The two leaders discussed in detail all aspects of the bilateral relations and international issues of mutual interest and efforts to further enhance and improve the relationship between the two neighbors, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Referring to the “painful and barbaric” terrorist attacks on "Easter Day" in Sri Lanka in April last year, Modi said terrorism is a major danger in the region and the two sides discussed furthering their cooperation against terrorism.
Noting that Sri Lankan police officers have started participating in anti-terrorism courses in India’s premier training institutes, Premier Modi said India is also committed to further strengthening the contacts and cooperation between the agencies of the two countries.
The two leaders discussed Joint economic projects in Sri Lanka, enhancing economic, business, and investment relations, increasing People-to-People connectivity, promoting tourism, and improving connectivity among many other things.
Prime Minister Modi noted that the recent direct flight between Chennai and Jaffna is part of India’s efforts in increasing connectivity between the peoples of the two countries. The direct flight will increase connectivity options for the Tamil population of the northern region of Sri Lanka and it will also be beneficial for the economic and social development of the region. “The good response received to this flight is a matter of happiness for both of us,” he said.
Premier Modi said he also talked openly about the issues related to reconciliation and expressed confidence that Sri Lanka will carry forward the reconciliation process implementing the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
“I am confident that the Government of Sri Lanka will realize the expectations of the Tamil people for equality, justice, peace, and respect within a united Sri Lanka. For this, it will be necessary to carry forward the process of reconciliation with the implementation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka.”
The Indian Prime Minister said Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s first overseas visit after assuming the post to India will strengthen the friendship and multi-dimensional cooperation of India and Sri Lanka. “At the same time, cooperation between the two countries for regional peace and stability will also increase,” he added.