Ranil Wickremasinghe to visit Delhi, a year after assuming charge, on July 21st

Wickremesinghe will be the fourth Sri Lankan president to be hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. |AP
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. |AP

NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan President will be visiting Delhi on July 21st, a year after assuming charge. Usually, Sri Lankan leaders visit India within a month of assuming charge, but with the economic crisis that the island nation was reeling under, and which India helped them salvage, it has taken this long.

Wickremesinghe will be the fourth Sri Lankan president to be hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He was elected by Parliament to serve the remaining two and half years in the term of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who stepped down following protests over corruption, embezzlement and mismanagement of the economy.

India has contributed nearly $4 billion (loans and lines of credit) to Sri Lanka to help the country stay afloat which enabled them to buy food, fuel and medicines.

"Had it not been for India, the crisis in Sri Lanka would have led to a civil war. So the country and its people have a lot to be grateful for,’’ said a political commentator on Sri Lanka.

While President Ranil will meet Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and President, Draupadi Murmu during his visit, there would be talks about enhancing connectivity and cooperation.

Sri Lanka has been seeking greater integration with the Indian economy which would include enhanced investments, trade in the Indian rupee and increasing tourist inflow. The two nations are looking at concluding an agreement on linking their power transmission grids for energy trade.

``Sri Lanka is an important partner in India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy and SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision and the visit will “reinforce the longstanding friendship between the two countries and explore avenues for enhanced connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors,’’ said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

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