June 20, 2019
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    Indian Premier pledge to strengthen bilateral ties further

    June 10, 2019

    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Sri Lanka today on an invitation extended by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, held discussions with the President at the President's House in Colombo. Prime Minister Modi, who arrived in the country this morning was warmly welcomed by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe at the Bandaranaike International Airport and escorted to the Presidential Secretariat where President Sirisena ceremoniously received the visiting leader with a Guard of Honor and 19 Gun Salute.

    President Sirisena, who participated in the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi for his second term as Prime Minister in New Delhi, was the first leader to have bilateral talks with the Prime Minister after his reelection for a second term. Premier Modi is also the first foreign leader to visit Sri Lanka after the Islamist terrorist attack on Easter Sunday.

    "President Sirisena expressed his gratitude to Indian Premier for visiting Sri Lanka at a time when the country is reeling under the terrible terrorist attacks, thus giving a positive signal to the world about Sri Lanka's secure environment. He added that the visit also reflects the strength and trust exists between the two neighbors," President's Media Division said. The President said that the visit also would be useful to promote Sri Lanka's economic, trade and tourism development.

    Prime Minister Modi said that the responsibility of friendly and brotherly countries is to help each other when one faces difficulties. He said that he accepted President Sirisena's invitation to visit with joy and India would continue the trust placed on Sri Lanka.The two leaders held discussions, covering issues pertaining to bilateral relations and regional security, peace and stability.

    Since both Sri Lanka and India have been victims of terrorism, both the leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and decided to step up cooperation in this critical area. Noting that the relations between the two countries since ancient times based on mutual trust and respect, the two leaders pledged to further strengthen bilateral ties.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people and the Government of Sri Lanka for the warm hospitality and welcome extended to him and his delegation. Following discussions, President Sirisena hosted a Luncheon in honor of the visiting Indian Prime Minister at the President's House. The two heads of state planted an Asoka sapling at the premises of the President's House to mark Premier Modi's third visit to the country.

    The President also presented Premier Modi with a Samadhi Buddha Statue as a "special gift from a special friend". Prior to meeting with President Sirisena, Prime Minister Modi also visited the St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade, which is one of the churches bombed in the Easter Sunday attacks, and paid tribute his respects to the victims.

    Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, Colombo archbishop cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, and Minister Sajith Premadasa and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Taranjit Singh Sandhu were also present at the occasion. During his short visit Premier Modi also held talks with top Lankan leadership including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and Leader of Tami National Alliance Sampanthan and discussed ways to strengthen the bilateral ties reflecting India's "Neighborhood First" policy.

     

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