New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday on a five-day visit to India. During this time, he had talked about increasing bilateral relations including security and defense between the two countries. PM Modi said that be it security or economy or social progress, our past and our future are connected to each other in every field. He said, “Sustainability, security and prosperity in Sri Lanka is in the interest of India and it is also in the interest of the entire Indian Ocean region.” He said “India and Sri Lanka are neigbours as well as close friends. We share common bonds. Terrorism is a big problem in our region, both of us have fought it befittingly. We will further increase our cooperation against terror.”
Mahinda Rajapaksa is on a five-day visit to India. This is the first foreign visit of him since being appointed as PM of the island nation in November last year. Officials said that important bilateral issues including trade and investment as well as defense and security were discussed between the two Prime Ministers. Mahinda was the President of his country from 2005 to 2015. He is one of the longest-serving leaders in South Asia. He was Prime Minister for a short time in 2018 also. During his tenure as President, China started spreading its footsteps in the island nation of the Indian Ocean, which raised concerns in India.
PM Modi: India and Sri Lanka are neigbours as well as close friends. We share common bonds. Terrorism is a big problem in our region, both of us have fought it befittingly. We will further increase our cooperation against terror. https://t.co/cBEVwxXP01 pic.twitter.com/75FBjYQsdA
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2020
However, relations between the two countries have intensified in the last four years. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited India in November on his first official foreign visit after assuming office. During the visit of the Sri Lankan President, the two sides resolved to further strengthen bilateral defense and security relations.
After the programs in Delhi, Mahinda Rajapaksa will go to Varanasi, Sarnath, Bodh Gaya and Tirupati. The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan in the morning. Earlier, Foreign Minister S.K. Jaishankar met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday and discussed issues related to development partnership and security cooperation between the two neighboring countries.