NEW DELHI: Describing Sri Lanka as India's trusted partner in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the two countries can work together to translate their vision of shared progress into reality.
Addressing an event to expand Emergency Ambulance Service across the entire island nation of Sri Lanka with Indian assistance, he said, "In good times and bad, India has been, and will always be the first responder for Sri Lanka.
" Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was in Jaffna, joined the event via a video bridge.
"When I look at Sri Lanka, I see not only a neighbour, but a very special and trusted partner of India in South Asia and in Indian Ocean (region)," the PMO said in a statement quoting Modi.
He said New Delhi's development cooperation with Colombo is an important means for translating the vision of shared progress into reality.
"It is not just a coincidence that India has the privilege to be Sri Lanka's partner in establishing this first responder service and in its expansion.
In good times and bad, India has been, and will always be the first responder for Sri Lanka," Modi said.
He recalled that during his visit to Sri Lanka last year, he had promised that India will work for expanding the pre-hospital Emergency Ambulance Service across the island nation.
"I am happy that India has fulfilled its promise in a timely manner and we have marked the beginning of the 2nd phase of the Service," he said.
Modi was of the view that the people of the two countries should be in constant touch with each other so that they know each other better and become even closer friends.
"I would encourage you to come to India and experience the New India that is taking shape," the PM told the gathering.