Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that he held “in-depth” discussions with visiting Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on security and outlined that the two countries will cooperate in counter-terror training.
“Had in-depth conversations with President @GotabayaR on aspects relating to security. The menace of terror has plagued both India and Sri Lanka. Our nations will cooperate in counter-terror training,” Modi tweeted.
The Prime Minister also said that the talks were “productive” and underlined that India is committed to supporting the people of Sri Lanka in their developmental aspirations.
“Sri Lanka is at the core of our ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and Sagar doctrine. I am glad that our efforts, be it in infra projects, Indian Housing Project, solar projects and community development projects will bring a positive difference in the lives of many Sri Lankans,” Modi said in a follow-up tweet.
On his part, Rajapaksa said that he was confident that a strong bilateral relationship will be built based on mutual respect and shared values.
“The very fruitful hour-long 1:1 with PM @narendramodi focused on several key aspects which are important and close to our nations’ hearts and I am confident we will build a strong relationship based on mutual respect and shared values,” the Sri Lankan leader tweeted.
India announced financial assistance of USD 400 million and USD 50 million to Sri Lanka for counter-terrorism.
“We are delighted that under the Indian Housing Project, 46,000 houses have been constructed for the internally displaced in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. There is good progress in the construction of 14,000 houses for Tamils of Indian origin in the Up-Country region. I am also pleased that we have agreed to use the previously announced USD 100 million credit line for solar projects in Sri Lanka early,” the Prime Minister said after holding talks with Rajapaksa, who is on a three-day visit to the country.
Thanking Modi for the financial aid to counter terrorism, Rajapaksa said, “I want to thank him for offering a fifty million dollar line of credit to enhance the capabilities of the intelligence agencies.”
Rajapaksa also said that his country will work closely with India to ensure that the Indian Ocean “remains a zone of peace”, and assured that he will take steps to release the Indian fishermen’s boats which are in Sri Lanka’s custody.
He also extended an invitation to Modi to visit the island nation at a mutually convenient time.