“Under neighbourhood first policy and SAGAR Doctrine, India will give priority to Sri Lanka,” Prime Minister Modi told the Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapakse while congratulating him for his recent victory said “.” (File image)
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met for a Virtual summit where they exchanged views on all issues of regional and global development.
This is Prime Minister Modi’s first Virtual summit (VS) with a leader in the neighbourhood and the third Virtual during the global lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a meeting with the Australian and European Union leadership in recent months.
“Under neighbourhood first policy and SAGAR Doctrine, India will give priority to Sri Lanka,” Prime Minister Modi told the Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapakse while congratulating him for his recent victory said “.”
While recalling the close ties and while talking about the COVID-19 crisis, the Sri Lankan leader thanked New Delhi for extending support, especially financial support to deal with the economic impact.
As has been reported earlier, the two countries agreed for $400 million currency swap agreement. This has provided a huge relief to the island nation. Now, both countries are in the midst in debt repayment rescheduling talks.
The Sri Lankan leader also expressed his appreciation for the quick response from the Indian Navy side during the MT Diamond crisis.
India had despatched help to Sri Lanka when earlier this month when the ship which was on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka had caught fire risking a major environmental disaster. And the Indian Navy as a first responder played a very critical role to help in averting a major disaster.
In a virtual press briefing at the end of the summit, in response to a question, if the LAC situation was discussed, Joint Secy (IOR)Amit Narang said “A bilateral air travel bubble has been proposed for establishment between India and Sri Lanka.”
The two leaders talked about several issues including defence cooperation and enhancing trade ties, among others.
The issue of Indian fishermen trespassing into the Sri Lankan waters was also part of the agenda.
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