COLOMBO (NewsRadio); External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S Jaishankar is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka today on a two-day visit.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that during the visit the Indian External Affairs Minister is scheduled to call on President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Foreign Ministry said Minister Jaishankar will also have official discussions with Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Sabry and pay courtesy calls on Prime Minster Dinesh Gunawardena and other dignitaries.
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar will be accompanied by Joint Secretary (IOR) Puneet Agrawal, Director Sandeep Kumar Bayyappu, Deputy Secretary (Sri Lanka) Nidhi Choudhary and Deputy Secretary Raghoo Puri from the Ministry of External Affairs, India.
The visit comes at a time when India has informed the International Monetary Fund that it strongly supports Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan as the country seeks a $2.9 billion loan from the global lender.
According to the Reuters, Indian finance ministry official Rajat Kumar Mishra told the IMF chief in a letter dated Jan. 16, “We hereby confirm our strong support for Sri Lanka’s prospective (loan) program and commit to supporting Sri Lanka with financing/debt relief consistent with restoring Sri Lanka’s public debt sustainability.”
Sri Lanka requires the backing of China and India – its biggest bilateral lenders – to reach a final agreement with the IMF on the $2.9 billion loan that is essential to help the country emerge from its worst financial crisis in seven decades.
Sri Lanka has to secure prior financing assurances from creditors, put its heavy debt burden on a sustainable path and boost public revenue before the global lender will disburse the funds, the IMF has said.
Meanwhile, the government is confident of finalising support from the IMF in the first quarter of 2023.