New Delhi, Feb 8 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday discussed with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa "joint economic projects" in the island nation and enhancing two-way trade and investment.
In the conversation that covered international issues of mutual concern, both sides discussed ways to expand bilateral ties. "We also discussed increasing our people-to-people relations, encouraging tourism, and improving connectivity," Modi said. The two prime ministers discussed cooperation in combating terrorism and maritime security.
Modi hoped that Sri Lanka will carry forward the process of reconciliation with Tamils. “I am confident that Sri Lankan government will realise expectations of Tamil people for equality, justice, peace within united Sri Lanka …I am confident the government will work towards reconciliation,” Modi said with Rajapaksa standing by side.
He also addressed the issue of Indian fishermen who are often arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy or come under fire. “We have decided to adopt a humanitarian approach in dealing with the issue of fishermen,” Modi said. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar earlier called on him and termed Sri Lanka as a partner in development, progress, and security.
"The broad ranging discussions focused on expediting ongoing projects and cooperation in a number of sectors such as tourism," Rajapaksa said in a tweet. Rajapaksa, who arrived here last evening, was given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan this morning. Rajapaksa is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.
This is the first overseas visit of Rajapaksa since he assumed office. Earlier President Gaotabaya Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena visited New Delhi in November and January this year, respectively. (UNI)