The time was right to focus on vexed and outstanding issues like the pending political solution for the Tamil minority community, India told Sri Lanka on Friday.
"The cessation of hostilities in Sri Lanka in May last year provides a historic opportunity to address all outstanding issues related to rehabilitation as well as a political settlement in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation. It is our hope that a structured dialogue mechanism to work towards this end will be launched soon," visiting external affairs minister, SM Krishna said.
On his part, Lankan foreign minister, GL Peiris said the issue of extending the long-demanded political devolution package was not off the government's radar.
"The issue is not out of sight and is not out of the radar," Peiris said, adding that the government was first addressing issues like resettling and rehabilitating the displaced Tamils and demining.
Krishna and Peiris were speaking to reporters after jointly chairing the seventh India-Sri Lanka joint commission meeting. The commission discussed a range of bilateral issues including scientific, technological, agricultural and cultural exchanges.
Earlier, Krishna met President Mahinda Rajapaksa over breakfast. "We exchanged quite a few thoughts," Krishna said.
A credit agreement for $416 million for the construction of the Northern Railway line was signed in their presence.
The Indian minister played down the perception that India was wary of China's expanding financial and diplomatic clout in the island.