Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs of India Vinay Kwatra and the Indian delegation that arrived in the island today held discussions with several parties including the President and Prime Minister. The delegation assured India’s continued support as a close neighbour to overcome the present crisis.
The visiting Foreign Secretary called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House today. A special Indian delegation arrived in Sri Lanka this morning to assess further financial assistance.
The President’s Media Division said Sri Lanka has thus far received essential food items, fuel, medicines, and fertiliser through Indian loan assistance. The delegation informed the President that the government of India and political authorities are committed to continuing support to Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa meanwhile expressed his appreciation to the Indian government for continued support during this difficult period. The President’s Media Division said the delegation expressed its confidence that Sri Lanka will overcome this difficult period promptly.
The Foreign Secretary was accompanied by Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance of India, Ajay Seth, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India Dr V Anantha Nageswaran and Joint Secretary of the Indian Ocean Region Kartik Pande of the Ministry of External Affairs of India. In a tweet, the Spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi said productive discussions were held on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support.
The Indian delegation underscored that the unprecedented recent economic, financial and humanitarian assistance of over USD 3.5 billion to the people of Sri Lanka was guided by ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and Security and Growth for All in the Region vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Foreign Secretary also had talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Ambassador Aruni Wijewardena.
They agreed to work in close coordination towards strengthening diplomatic engagement and undertaking a bilateral visit at an early date. It was recalled that development assistance extended by India stands at over USD 5 billion with more than USD 600 million being in grants, which include the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity Project. The group that arrived in the island this morning left for India a short while ago.