Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar is slated to visit Sri Lanka this month for two days for bilateral talks, Daily Mirror learns.
However, the final dates of the visit are still being worked out.
This is his first visit to Sri Lanka after President Ranil Wickremesinghe took office in July, last year. During the crisis period, Sri Lanka and India had made key engagements and framed a four-point package including a line of credit to import food, medicines and fuel. India has already extended US $ 4 billion finance assistance in terms of loans, deferment of payments and currency swap arrangements.
As part of bilateral ties, India has sought greater connectivity with Sri Lanka and investments in areas such as port and energy sectors.
Re-establishment of air connectivity between Jaffna and Chennai, and the proposed ferry links between the north of Sri Lanka and the southern ports of India are part of connectivity programmes.
This is the first high profile visit from India in the New Year. Dr. Jaishankar visited Sri Lanka for the last time in March, 2022.
Last month, the Indian External Affairs Ministry Head of Indian Ocean Region, Puneet Agrawal, arrived in Sri Lanka, and had talks with the ministers in charge of Ports, Shipping and Aviation, Foreign Affairs and Power and Energy. Before him, Head of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Samant Kumar Goel had interaction with the highest level, including President Wickremesinghe. Mr. Goel also met with Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, the de facto leader of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).
During the upcoming visit, the two sides are expected to review the progress of work on projects in agreed areas. (Kelum Bandara)