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PM Modi to visit Lanka on June 9, says Sirisena

Modi is expected to travel to the Maldives during June 7-8 for the first bilateral visit of his second term, people familiar with developments said last week.

india Updated: May 31, 2019 23:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
pm modi,bjp,sri lanka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make an official visit to Sri Lanka on June 9(Ajay Aggarwal/HT PHOTO)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make an official visit to Sri Lanka on June 9 after completing a trip to the Maldives, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday.

“Prime Minister Modi’s visit is very important to us. We are neighbours and friends…We are eagerly awaiting his arrival,” he told a news conference after his meeting with the Indian premier at Hyderabad House.

Modi is expected to travel to the Maldives during June 7-8 for the first bilateral visit of his second term, people familiar with developments said last week.

Normalcy was restored in Sri Lanka within three weeks after the Easter Sunday bombings of April 21 that killed more than 250 people, and tourists were returning while many countries had revised their negative travel advisories, Sirisena said.

Asked about reports of China’s growing influence in Sri Lanka, Sirisena said relations between the two countries were focused on trade and economic ties and “there is no room for further influence” by China.

Sirisena was in New Delhi with leaders of other states of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) to attend Modi’s swearing-in, and they held separate meetings with the Indian premier.

During their meeting, Sirisena and Modi noted terrorism continues to pose a threat to humanity and committed themselves to closer cooperation for peace and security in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region.

Modi and Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid expressed satisfaction at the “excellent state” of bilateral ties. Modi accepted an invitation to visit Bangladesh and said the bilateral relationship remained of the “highest priority to India”. He also emphasised the importance of raising ties to a new level to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Bangabandhu Mujibur Rahman in 2020, and the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s liberation in 2021. Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Modi expressed satisfaction at progress in implementing bilateral projects and initiatives.

First Published: May 31, 2019 23:06 IST

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