FM Sitharaman reiterates ‘fullest support’ for Sri Lanka amid economic crisis

The finance minister has reasserted India’s complete support and cooperation for Sri Lanka to help them tide over the current economic crisis
FM Nirmala Sitharaman has assured support to Sri Lanka amid their recovery from economic crisis. (File photo (HT Print))
FM Nirmala Sitharaman has assured support to Sri Lanka amid their recovery from economic crisis. (File photo (HT Print))
Updated on Jun 22, 2022 05:10 PM IST
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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday reiterated her “fullest support and cooperation” for Sri Lanka’s recovery from the worst economic crisis in decades at a meeting with Sri Lankan high commissioner Milinda Moragoda.

Moragoda met the finance minister on Monday, the latest in a series of meetings on India’s economic cooperation and assistance to Sri Lanka in the context of the current crisis. They had last met on May 27.

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Sitharaman assured the Sri Lankan envoy of her “fullest support and cooperation to the process of economic recovery in Sri Lanka”, according to a statement issued by the Sri Lankan mission on Wednesday.

Moragoda thanked Sitharaman for the continuation of assistance from India, especially the expeditious arrangement of a new line of credit of $55million granted on 10 June to import 65,000 tonnes of urea needed for the cultivation season in Sri Lanka.

Sitharaman also expressed the hope that Sri Lanka would recover very soon, given the resilience of her people.

Earlier on Monday, Moragoda met external affairs minister S Jaishankar to discuss the way forward with regard to Indian assistance for stabilising the ailing Sri Lankan economy.

Moragoda also interacted with a group of 15 European envoys in New Delhi, who are concurrently accredited to Colombo, on Tuesday and briefed them on the developments in Sri Lanka. This was the third such interaction between the high commissioner and concurrently accredited heads of mission.

The ambassadors of Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Ukraine and the high commissioner of Malta attended the meeting.

Moragoda spoke about strengthening Sri Lanka’s relations with these countries and briefed the heads of mission on economic and political developments in Sri Lanka, particularly the plans for the stabilisation and recovery of the country’s economy.

He stressed the importance of accessing bridging finance until a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is in place, and sought the assistance of the heads of mission in the recovery process.

The Sri Lankan mission in New Delhi functions as the main coordinating point for 94 concurrently accredited foreign missions and the foreign ministry in Colombo.

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Thursday, June 30, 2022