Colombo, 20 January 2023 (TDI): The Minister of External Affairs of India, S. Jaishankar has concluded an official visit to Sri Lanka on 20 January 2023.

During the visit, the Minister held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, Ali Sabry as they discuss the ways to promote bilateral relations between these two countries.

During the meeting, on behalf of the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Foreign Minister conveyed gratitude to his Indian counterpart for the significant support they received from India for the past years. Starting that, India assisted the country with USD 4 billion in credit lines and other in-kind support.

Sri Lanka has been in a severe economic crisis and has faced one. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with low revenue generation from various sectors of the economy, the country has experienced the worst economic difficulties of the time.

Ali Sabry also stated that; India was the first country to officially back Sri Lanka’s IMF-led debt restructuring program by conveying financing assurances to the International Monetary Fund. The country has gone to the IMF several times, which was one of the times they needed the most support.

The Indian Minister reiterated that the primary purpose of his visit to Colombo was to express India’s solidarity with Sri Lanka in difficult times in line with the “Neighborhood First” policy of Prime Minister Modi. There is every need for India to come to the aid of India in these times to ensure that their economic challenges are solved.

Individuals present during the bilateral discussion included the Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka, Aruni Wijewardne, and India High Commissioner, Gopal Bagley. The focus on the mutual benefits they can all get from their partnerships is the way to ensure that the economy of Sri Lanka bounces back stronger in these times.