Sri Lankan Finance Minister meets Finance Minister, EAM, NSA Doval on India visit

03-12-2021

Colombo/New Delhi, Dec 3 (UNI) Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who was on a two-day visit to India, held two rounds of joint discussions with Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and also met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

He also met with Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri.

"Continued engagement!!! Hon'ble Finance Minister @RealBRajapaksa met NSA Ajit Doval and Minister @HardeepSPuri on the second day of the visit to #India. Forward looking discussions on strengthening the bilateral partnership in multiple spheres between India and Sri Lanka," the Indian High Commission to Colombo tweeted.

This was Basil Rajapaksa’s first overseas visit since he assumed office in July this year.

Rajapaksa returned to Sri Lanka on Thursday, after a two-day official visit to India to seek support amidst an unprecedented economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

According to a press release, Indian NSA Doval extended a warm welcome to Minister Rajapaksa and engaged in an extremely cordial conversation with him and discussed a range of issues pertaining to the mutual strategic interests of the two countries. Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda as well as Ministry of Finance and Treasury Secretary S.R. Attygalle accompanied Minister Rajapaksa to the meeting.

Last week, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris told The Morning that Rajapaksa’s visit is not merely to get loans. “Our policy as a government is to not just get loans. But we are also focused on getting capital and foreign investments through other means – investments, business relationships, and the development of the tourism sector,” said Prof. Peiris.

Prof. Pieris noted that since Sri Lanka is currently trapped in the biggest economic crisis post-Independence, Sri Lanka should not isolate itself diplomatically.

“We especially have a very good relationship with India, our neighbouring country, who has come to our support in times of both economic and other needs,” he noted.

Separately, Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda met with India Deputy National Security Advisor Pankaj Saran in New Delhi.

Deputy National Security Advisor Saran cordially welcomed High Commissioner Moragoda and had an extensive discussion with him. The discussion between the Deputy National Security Advisor of India and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka focused on a range of issues pertaining to mutual strategic interests, including those that are related to economic cooperation.

High Commissioner Moragoda also presented a copy of his policy road map ‘Integrated Country Strategy for Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions in India 2021/2023’ to Saran.