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‘India would always stand with Sri Lanka’: PM Modi tells Basil Rajapaksa

Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)

‘India would always stand with Sri Lanka’: PM Modi tells Basil Rajapaksa
Modi and Rajapaksa discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to bilateral ties including in areas of agriculture, renewable energy, tourism and fisheries. (Image: Narendra Modi Twitter)



Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Wednesday that India would always stand with the island nation as a close friendly neighbour, according to the Sri Lankan high commission.

On a visit to India, Rajapaksa called on Modi and thanked the prime minister for all the assistance that India has provided to Sri Lanka at this “critical time”.

Last month, India extended a USD 500 million line of credit to Sri Lanka to help it purchase petroleum products as the island nation has been reeling under a severe foreign exchange and energy crisis.

“Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi stated that India would always stand with Sri Lanka, a close friendly neighbour, when the visiting Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa called on him this afternoon,” the Sri Lankan high commission said in a statement.

It said Modi and Rajapaksa discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to the bilateral ties, including in the areas of agriculture, renewable energy, tourism and fisheries.

“The two dignitaries also agreed that cooperation in the development of renewable energy in Sri Lanka is mutually beneficial and that it should be pursued with vigour,” the high commission said.

It also said Modi and Rajapaksa had a “comprehensive discussion” on the fisheries issue and recognised its “complex and multidimensional” aspects.

“Prime Minister Modi and Minister Rajapaksa had a comprehensive discussion on the fisheries issue between the two countries and recognised its complex and multidimensional aspects, including humane treatment of fishermen, livelihood, enforcement, ecology of the ocean, early release of arrested fishermen and their boats etc.,” the Sri Lankan high commission said.

“The two dignitaries also agreed on the urgent need to find a lasting solution to this complex issue,” it added.

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