India and Sri Lanka today identified key areas of future cooperation.
The Indian High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay paid his first call on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees in Colombo today (27).
Issuing a press release the Indian High Commission in Colombo said the meeting coincided with the 50th anniversary of the election of Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Sri Lankan Parliament.
The High Commissioner Gopal Baglay conveyed the good wishes of the Indian leadership on the occasion.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo said Prime Minister Rajapaksa warmly recalled his interactions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi since their first formal engagement exactly six years ago at the swearing in ceremony of the latter in New Delhi on 26 May 2014. He also fondly recalled his latest State Visit to India in February 2020.
Meanwhile, High Commissioner Gopal Baglay stated that he had come with a mandate to deepen India-Sri Lanka bilateral relations and also to expand their close cooperation.
He reiterated the commitment of India to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lanka in addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 and in post-COVID economic recovery. Towards this end, food security, health security, IT cooperation, tourism exchanges, development cooperation partnership, greater investment flows were identified as priority areas.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa further recalled this long standing relationship with the people and Government of India.
He reiterated his belief that the bilateral relationship would become stronger with the addition of new areas of cooperation.
PM Rajapaksa agreed with High Commissioner Gopal Baglay that the shared Buddhist heritage and links between India and Sri Lanka provide a platform for robust people-to-people engagement and for bringing the two peoples closer together.
He said that he would instruct his relevant officials to consult with the High Commission to further develop such cooperation.
The Indian High Commission in Colombo added that the High Commissioner also conveyed the sincere condolences of the Government of India on the sad and untimely demise of former Parliamentarian Arumugan Thondaman. (Colombo Gazette)