In extraordinary gesture, four Sri Lankan ministers receive EAM Jaishankar at airport

In extraordinary gesture, four Sri Lankan ministers receive EAM Jaishankar at airport

COLOMBO: In an extraordinary gesture, four Sri Lankan ministers received Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, who is on a bilateral visit to the island nation, at the airport on Sunday evening.

The ministers, Gamini Lokuge, Minister of Energy, Johnston Fernando, Minister of Highways, Prasanna Ranatunga, Ministry of Tourism and, D V Chanaka, State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development, recieved Jaishankar at the airport.
On Sunday, Jaishankar arrived in Colombo for a bilateral visit. During his visit, he will also attend the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) meeting.

“Arrived in Colombo for a bilateral visit and BIMSTEC meeting. Look forward to my discussions over the next two days,” Jaishankar tweeted hours after concluding his Maldives visit. The minister will be in Sri Lanka from March 28 to 30.

This follows the visits to India by Sri Lanka Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa in December 2021 earlier this month and that of Sri Lanka Foreign Minister professor G L Peiris in February 2022.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the bilateral meetings and interactions which EAM will have in Sri Lanka highlight the priority that Sri Lanka occupies for India. While in Sri Lanka, EAM will also participate in the BIMSTEC Ministerial Meeting on March 29 in Colombo.

Both Maldives and Sri Lanka are India’s key maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean Region and occupy a special place in the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘SAGAR’ and Neighbourhood First.

The EAM’s visit is testimony to the importance that India attaches to its close and friendly relations with the Maldives and Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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