(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – India has reiterated its commitment to further strengthen its cooperation with Sri Lanka, which is recovering from its worst economic crisis in many decades.
The message was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to his Sri Lankan counterpart MUM Ali Sabry.
“EAM @DrSJaishankar conveyed to Hon. FM @alisabrypc that #India is committed to further strengthening the cooperation between India and Sri Lanka for mutual benefit. He also thanked Hon. FM for felicitations on #India’s 74th Republic Day,” the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted on Thursday.
India’s message of solidarity with the island nation came barely a fortnight after EAM Jaishankar concluded his fourth visit to Sri Lanka since assuming office. He had earlier visited Sri Lanka in November 2019, January 2021, and March 2022.
The most recent visit took place on January 19–20, 2023. EAM Jaishankar reaffirmed India’s commitment to aiding the nation in overcoming its current economic difficulties during the visit. He also met with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and President Ranil Wickremesinghe during the visit.
In a press statement in Colombo on January 20, EAM Jaishankar underlined that “India is a reliable neighbour, a trustworthy partner, one who is prepared to go the extra mile when Sri Lanka feels the need”.
The significance of this visit was evident during the delegation-level meeting hosted by the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka. The participants included the Sri Lankan Ministers of Ports, Shipping and Aviation; Health; Industries; Investment Promotion; Power and Energy.
This reflected the breadth and depth of the growing partnership between India and Sri Lanka in diverse spheres, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had said.
India has helped Sri Lanka amid its economic crisis in a number of ways, including financial support from in the form of loans and lines of credit. India provided unprecedented financial support of USD 4 billion during 2022, in line with the ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy.
India has also helped Sri Lanka by stepping up commerce. Additionally, India has provided technical support in areas including increasing capacity, transferring technology, and developing infrastructure.
India went a step further by becoming the first creditor nation of Sri Lanka to support debt restructuring and convey financing assurances to the IMF. This was meant to clear the way forward for Sri Lanka in securing the IMF programme.
During his January 2023 visit, EAM Jaishankar also said that India will encourage greater investments in the Sri Lankan economy, particularly in key sectors like energy, tourism and infrastructure.
Overall, India has been a helpful partner to Sri Lanka during its economic crisis and has contributed to the nation’s recovery and economic stabilization.
(India News Network )