New Delhi, Nov 29: At the end of cordial talks with visiting Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced a financial assistance of USD 450 million to Sri Lanka including USD 50 million to fight terrorism.
"For mutual security and to take concrete steps against terror menace, I had detailed talks with President Rajapaksa. Sri Lankan police and security personnel are taking training in various Indian institutes on counter terror measures," Mr Modi said.
He also said a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka suits India as it also guarantees peace in the entire Indian Ocean region. "A civilisational relationship nurtured through millennia..," MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted. President Gotabaya is on his first overseas visit since assuming office on a State visit at Mr Modi's invitation, demonstrating the strength and dynamism of India-Sri Lanka relations.
The talks focused on issues like fishermen matters and fulfilling the aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Both sides agreed that humanitarian aspect should be key aspect when it comes to taking any decision on fishermen. At the bilateral talks various other matters concerning two nations figured prominently.
"The fishermen issue and their livelihood figured at the talks between us. There is broad agreement that constructive and humanitarian aspect ought to be key aspects when any decision is taken on them," the Prime Minister said at a joint press meet with Mr Rajapaksa. The Sri Lankan President said the discussions were cordial. India has always assisted Sri Lanka in counter terrorism, he said, adding "We look forward to continue cooperation in this regard". In his media statement after the talks, PM Modi said he assured Mr Rajapaksa of India's full assistance in taking his country in the path of rapid development.
On Tamil issue, Mr Modi said he was confident that the Sri Lankan government will carry forward the reconciliation process and fulfill the aspirations of the Tamil community. "The mandate that you have received reflected the aspirations of the Sri Lankan people for a strong and prosperous Sri Lanka. India's good wishes and cooperation are always with Sri Lanka in this regard," Prime Minister said.
Speaking to reporters after a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Sri Lankan President said both India and Sri Lanka need to work together on issues relating to security. "During my tenure as president, I want to bring the relationship between India and Sri Lanka to a very high level. We have a long-standing relationship historically as well as politically," Mr Rajapaksa said. (UNI)