India’s Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar and Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa today engaged in a virtual meeting.
Both Ministers positively noted the extension of USD 400 million to Sri Lanka under the SAARC currency swap arrangement and the deferral of a ACU settlement of USD 515.2 million by two months.
The two Ministers also reviewed the progress in extending the Indian credit facility of USD 1 billion for importing food, essential items, and medicine and USD 500 million for importing fuel from India.
Minister Rajapaksa welcomed Indian investments in Sri Lanka in a number of important spheres including ports, infrastructure, energy, renewable energy, power, and manufacturing, and assured that a conducive environment will be ensured to encourage such investments.
A statement issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said Jaishankar conveyed that India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways for overcoming the economic and other challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
It added as close friends and maritime neighbours, both India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic interlinkages.
Minister Rajapaksa has meanwhile recalled India’s longstanding cooperation with Sri Lanka and deeply appreciated the gestures of support.
In this context, both Ministers noted that recent steps taken by Lanka for jointly modernising the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farms will boost the confidence of investors, apart from enhancing Sri Lanka’s energy security.
Minister Jaishankar also took up the issue of Indian fishermen being detained in Sri Lanka and urged the government of Sri Lanka to ensure their early release on humanitarian grounds.