Colombo, Jan 15 (newsin.asia): Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar held a virtual meeting with Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa on Saturday during which an Indian credit facility $1 billion for importing essential items and $500 million US for importing fuel from India were discussed.
Dr. Jaishankar said that “India has always supported Sri Lanka and will continue to support Sri Lanka in every possible way to overcome the economic and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As close friends and maritime neighbours, India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic ties, Jaishankar added.
The two ministers noted positively the extension of US$400 million to Sri Lanka under the SAARC Currency Swap Agreement and the postponement of the US$515.2 million ACU settlement Americans for two months, which would help Sri Lanka. They reviewed progress made in extending India’s $1 billion credit facility for importing food, essential items and medicine and $500 million for importing fuel from India.
Basil Rajapaksa recalled India’s longstanding cooperation with Sri Lanka and deeply appreciated the gestures of support. He hailed Indian investment in Sri Lanka in a number of important areas including ports, infrastructure, energy, renewables, power and manufacturing, and assured that an enabling environment will be provided for encourage these investments. In this context, the two ministers noted that the recent steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to jointly modernize the Trincomalee oil parks will boost investor confidence, in addition to enhancing Sri Lanka’s energy security.
The Indian Foreign Minister raised the issue of Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. He urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure the speedy release of fishermen detained on humanitarian grounds.
The two ministers agreed to stay in close contact to guide mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation towards a long-term economic partnership for shared progress and prosperity.