New Delhi, June 23
Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, in a surprise visit to Sri Lanka, has assured that India will extend its full support to the economically beleaguered country in overcoming its current difficult situation as a close friend. Kwatra made the sudden visit to the island as the head of an Indian delegation that included the Chief Economic Advisor V. Anantha Nageswaran.
Kwatra made the remarks during a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said the President’s media unit.
In a tweet, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Kwatra “held productive discussions on the current situation in Sri Lanka and India’s ongoing support’’.
The Indian team arrived in Colombo to consider further financial assistance to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has already received essential food items, fuel, medicine and fertilizer under the Indian credit line facility. Both parties discussed the future course of action of the Indian aid programme to stabilize and revive the Sri Lankan economy, at length.
The other members of the delegation included Economic Relations Secretary Ajay Seth, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay, Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob and Joint Secretary (IOR) Kartik Pande.
Sri Lanka also plans to hold a donor conference with China, India and Japan, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said. “We need the support of India, Japan and China, who have been historic allies,’’ he observed, adding that a special team from the US Treasury would visit next week.
The delegation touched down at Colombo by a special flight and spent only a few hours before flying back.