Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi says his visit to Sri Lanka will help further strengthen the close ties between both countries.
Modi is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on a short visit prior to which he will be in the Maldives.
In a statement issued prior to his departure to the Maldives the Indian Prime Minister said that he is visiting the Republic of Maldives and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on 08-09 June 2019 at the invitation of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and President Maithripala Sirisena, respectively.
“This will be my first overseas visit after my re-election,” he said.
Modi said that he had the pleasure of receiving President Solih in December last year and also had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of President Solih in November 2018.
“My visit to the Maldives is reflective of the importance we both attach to our relationship as maritime neighbours and long-standing friends. We regard the Maldives as a valued partner with whom we share deep bonds of history and culture. Our bilateral relations with the Maldives have been greatly strengthened in the recent past. I am confident that my visit will further deepen our multifaceted partnership,” he said.
Modi also said that his visit to Sri Lanka is to express solidarity with the Government and the people of Sri Lanka in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks there last Easter on 21 April 2019.
“India stands with Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism. Our bilateral relations with Sri Lanka have gained considerable momentum in the last few years. I had the pleasure of meeting President Sirisena during his recent visit to India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new government. I look forward to meeting the Sri Lankan leadership during my visit,” he said.
Modi said he was confident that his visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka will further strengthen the close and cordial ties with the maritime neighbours, in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood-First Policy’ and the vision of Security and Growth for All in the Region. (Colombo Gazette)