India, Sri Lanka to hold virtual bilateral summit on September 26
President Rajapaksa also made it clear recently that Sri Lanka’s strategic security policy will have an “India first” approach though Colombo remains open to dealing with other key players for economic development.Updated: Sep 23, 2020, 19:50 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa will hold a virtual bilateral summit on September 26, their first official engagement after parliamentary elections in the island nation last month.
The implementation of developmental projects by India, cooperation on counter-terrorism and defence matters, trade, and the devolution of powers to Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority are expected to figure in the talks, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.
“The virtual bilateral summit will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship soon after the parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka and in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.
Rajapaksa began a fresh term as prime minister after his Sri Lanka People’s Front party secured a two-thirds majority in parliamentary polls in August.
In July, India announced a $400-million currency swap facility for Sri Lanka under the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), though New Delhi is yet to take a call on Colombo’s request for a bilateral swap facility for $1.1 billion.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had sought the special swap facility of $1.1 billion during a phone conversation with Modi in May.
President Rajapaksa also made it clear recently that Sri Lanka’s strategic security policy will have an “India first” approach though Colombo remains open to dealing with other key players for economic development.