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Jaishankar lands in Sri Lanka, gets warm welcome

The External Affairs Minister noted that Sri Lanka is central to India’s Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies….reports Asian Lite News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar arrived in Colombo on Thursday as he embarked on his first visit after the beginning of the new term. He will hold meetings with the leadership of Sri Lanka.

EAM Jaishanakr also thanked Sri Lankan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya and Eastern Province Governor Senthil Thondaman for their warm welcome.

The External Affairs Minister noted that Sri Lanka is central to India’s Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies.

“Landed in Colombo for my first visit in the new term. Thank Minister of State @TharakaBalasur1 and Governor of Eastern province @S_Thondaman for the warm welcome. Look forward to my meetings with the leadership. Sri Lanka is central to our Neighborhood First and SAGAR policies,” Jaishankar said in a post shared on X.

During his visit, the External Affairs Minister will hold meetings with the leadership of Sri Lanka on wide-ranging issues on the partnership between the two countries.

“This will be EAM’s first bilateral visit after the formation of a new Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” the MEA said in an official release on Wednesday.

Jaishankar’s visit marks India’s continued commitment to Sri Lanka, being its closest maritime neighbour.

“Reaffirming India’s Neighbourhood First Policy, the visit underlines India’s continued commitment to Sri Lanka as its closest maritime neighbour and time-tested friend. The visit will add momentum to connectivity projects and other mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors,” the Ministry said.

Jaishankar, a prominent BJP leader who steered India’s diplomatic course during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term took charge as External Affairs Minister once again in the new government and resumed his duties at the Ministry of External Affairs in South Block last week.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Sunday that negotiations are currently underway regarding the sale of surplus renewable energy to India.

“A feasibility study is currently being conducted on establishing a power line connection between Sri Lanka and India, with further discussions expected during the upcoming visit of the Indian Foreign Minister to Sri Lanka,” the Lankan President’s Media Division (PMD) said in a statement.

President Wickremesinghe also mentioned that a pre-feasibility study for a land connection between Sri Lanka and India has been completed, and a full feasibility study will be conducted in the near future.

The Lankan President was in New Delhi on June 9 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the visit, he also held discussions with Jaishankar on his forthcoming visit to Sri Lanka to oversee the progress of development projects initiated in the country with Indian investments.

“The discussions also covered India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy. Minister Jaishankar highlighted plans for an industrial zone in Trincomalee, to be established by the Indian government, which will attract numerous Indian investors and potential investors from other countries,” the PMD had said in a statement on June 10.

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