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Modi, Wickremesinghe hold talks amid India’s keenness to run Sri Lanka’s Mattala airport

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is in India to attend the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space

india Updated: Nov 23, 2017 14:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Ranil Wickremesinghe,Global Conference on Cyber Space
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) shakes hands with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (AFP File Photo )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday took stock of the bilateral ties amid India recently showing interest to run an airport close to a port developed by China in the island nation.

Details of the meeting, which started at 12.30pm, are not known immediately.

The visiting prime minister, who is in India primarily to attend the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space, will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind.

With New Delhi expressing interest to run the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) near Hambantota port developed by the Chinese, the meeting between the two leaders assumes further significance.

Sri Lanka is already an important partner for India in the Indian Ocean region (IOR), where China is trying to increase its influence.

Wickremesinghe arrived in India on Wednesday. He arrived at the national capital from Bengaluru, which was his first destination.

He was received at the New Delhi airport by Indian high commissioner to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu.

“A partnership marked by historical linkages and deep rooted friendship. Sri Lankan Prime Minister @RW_UNP arrives in New Delhi to participate in the 5th Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 14:00 IST