India and Sri Lanka will seek to open a new chapter in ties on Monday with a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena who has chosen India for his maiden visit abroad as president. In a likely big takeaway from the visit, India and Sri Lanka will sign a civil nuclear cooperation agreement.
India, TOI learned, has decided to go ahead with civil nuclear cooperation with Sri Lanka following its own "breakthrough understanding" over the same during US President Barack Obama's recent visit. The two countries in the past have held negotiations for a civil nuclear agreement but these lost steam last year under Sirisena's predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa.
With Rajapaksa gone, both India and the US are keen to wean away Sri Lanka from the influence of China.