External affairs minister S Jaishankar to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

External affairs minister S Jaishankar to visit Sri Lanka tomorrow

Jun 19, 2024 07:29 PM IST

The external affairs ministry said S Jaishankar is set to meet the leadership of Sri Lanka and discuss wide-ranging issues of the partnership

India and Sri Lanka are set to review the implementation of projects backed by New Delhi and the overall bilateral relationship during external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo on June 20, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (File)
External affairs minister S Jaishankar. (File)

This will be Jaishankar’s first bilateral visit following the formation of the new National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. He is set to meet the leadership of Sri Lanka and discuss wide-ranging issues of the partnership, the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

“⁠Reaffirming India’s Neighbourhood First policy, the visit underlines India’s continued commitment to Sri Lanka as its closest maritime neighbour and time-tested friend,” the statement said. The visit will also add momentum to connectivity projects and other mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors, it added.

Besides holding talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry, Jaishankar is expected to meet President Ranil Wickremesinghe and leaders of different political parties. These meetings assume significance as Sri Lanka is expected to hold its presidential election later this year, the people said on condition of anonymity.

The visit will be an opportunity for the two sides to review initiatives for economic, energy and physical connectivity and several India-backed development projects, the people said.

Wickremesinghe was among the leaders of seven regional countries invited to the inauguration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s third term on June 9. Jaishankar met Wickremesinghe the following day and a readout issued by the Sri Lankan president’s office said the external affairs minister had “addressed the swift resumption of development projects initiated in Sri Lanka with Indian investments, which had been halted midway”.

The readout further quoted Jaishankar as saying that he would expedite work on development projects funded by Indian investments. He also highlighted plans for an industrial zone in Trincomalee, to be established by the Indian government to attract Indian and foreign investors.

Modi’s proposed visit to Sri Lanka and the issue of fishermen from both sides being detained for transgressing the maritime boundary are also expected to come up during Jaishankar’s trip, the people said.

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