Sri Lanka and India have decided to step up cooperation to fight terrorism, the President’s office said today.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Colombo today on an invitation extended by President Maithripala Sirisena, held discussions with the President at the President’s House in Colombo.
Prime Minister Modi was ceremoniously received by President Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat. The visiting Head of Government was accorded a Guard of Honour and 19 Gun Salute.
President Sirisena, who participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi for his second term as Prime Minister in New Delhi, was the first leader to have bilateral talks with the Prime Minister. Premier Modi is the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after the Islamist terrorist attack on Easter Sunday.
President Sirisena expressed his gratitude to Indian Premier for visiting Sri Lanka at a time when the country is reeling under the terrible terrorist attacks, thus giving a positive signal to the world about Sri Lanka’s secure environment. He added that the visit also reflects the strength and trust exists between the two neighbours.
The President said that the visit also would be useful to promote Sri Lanka’s economic, trade and tourism development.
Prime Minister Modi said that the responsibility of friendly and brotherly countries is to help each other when one faces difficulties. He said that he accepted President Sirisena’s invitation to visit with joy and India would continue the trust placed on Sri Lanka, the President’s office said in a statement.
Prime Minister Modi also appreciated President Sirisena’s programmes to fulfil the duties towards all the communities.
The two leaders held discussions, covering issues pertaining to bilateral relations and regional security, peace and stability. Since both Sri Lanka and India have been victims of terrorism, both the leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and decided to step up cooperation in this critical area.
Noting that the relations between the two countries since ancient times based on mutual trust and respect, the two leaders pledged to further strengthen bilateral ties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people and the Government of Sri Lanka for the warm hospitality and welcome extended to him and his delegation.
Two leaders planted a sapling at the premises of the President’s House to mark the visit of the Indian Prime Minister. President Sirisena hosted a Luncheon in honour of the visiting Indian Prime Minister.
President Sirisena presented Prime Minister Modi with a photograph taken during the welcome ceremony, together with another photograph of the two leads taken in New Delhi during the President’s last visit. (Colombo Gazette)