Colombo, October 16 (newsin.asia): The High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay, called on Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Thursday. This was their first meeting after the Virtual Bilateral Summit (VBS) between the Prime Ministers of India and Sri Lanka held on September 26. The meeting afforded an excellent opportunity to follow up on the implementation of decisions taken at the summit.
Referring to the tone set by the two leaders in the VBS for expanding existing mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in a number of areas, the High Commissioner sought the guidance of Prime Minister Rajapaksa for further steps, especially the priority areas as identified by Sri Lanka.
The High Commissioner mentioned to the Prime Minister that he and his colleagues in the High Commission had fruitful discussions in the days since the VBS with a number of senior members of Sri Lanka’s Council of Ministers, covering the economy, connectivity, power & energy, agriculture & animal husbandry, development cooperation, education &capacity building, water & sanitation, health& pharmaceuticals, culture and people-to-people relations.
In the context of the Government of Sri Lanka’s high priority attached to water, sanitation, agriculture and manufacturing, the High Commissioner referred to India’s recent experience in these areas and stated that India is ready for developing further bilateral cooperation in accordance with Sri Lanka’s requirements. He responded positively to the suggestions of Prime Minister Rajapaksa for Indian investment in research and manufacturing in Sri Lanka, including the pharmaceutical sector.
The High Commissioner stressed the significance of facilitating mutually beneficial trade and investment between India and Sri Lanka, which are close maritime neighbours and friends. The High Commissioner thanked the Hon’ble Prime Minister for his continued guidance for expeditious implementation of mutually beneficial projects.
Recalling the importance attached by Prime Minister Modi to promoting people-to-people relations between the two countries, the High Commissioner stressed the significance of the grant assistance of US $ 15 million announced by Prime Minister Modi during the VBS for promoting Buddhist ties in the two countries. He mentioned that details of its implementation are being discussed with the Sri Lankan authorities concerned.
(Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay greets Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa:File photo)