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Indian delegation led by NSA in Sri Lanka

world Updated: Jun 21, 2008 00:07 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A delegation of top Indian government officials including the National Security Advisor (NSA) MK Narayanan flew to Colombo in an apparently unscheduled visit on Friday, triggering speculation about the possible reasons behind it.

Accompanying Narayanan were Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and Defence Secretary Vijay Singh.While the High Commission of India said the visit was in connection with the upcoming SAARC summit beginning end-July, Sri Lankan officials said the trio was here to continue dialogue on issues of mutual interest. Neither Indian diplomats nor Lankan officials were ready to comment on the visit of the three most powerful bureaucrats in India.

But it was confirmed that they would be meeting President Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday morning. It was also learnt that Narayanan, Menon and Singh met their counterparts in the Sri Lankan government on Friday evening.

The three, along with at least two other middle-level officials, arrived on a special flight from New Delhi around 11.30 a.m. An Indian High Commission official said: “They would carry out a detailed assessment of the agenda to be taken up during the SAARC summit. They will also discuss Indo-Sri Lankan relations. The visit has been undertaken because India attaches a lot of importance to Sri Lanka.”