India reiterates importance of ties with Sri Lanka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reiterated the importance India attached to its ties with Sri Lanka asthe island nation’s new Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana called on him here.

“Prime Minister reaffirmed the high importance that India attaches to its relations with Sri Lanka,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.

“Both countries enjoy deep and broad-based ties,” it added.

Modi conveyed to Marapana that he looked forward to continue to work closely with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to further strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation.

He also congratulated Marapana on assuming his new responsibility as Foreign Minister. Marapana, who assumed office on August 15, arrived here on Friday on a three-day trip to India in what is his first official visit abroad.

“The Prime Minister referred to his fruitful visit to Sri Lanka in May this year for the International Vesak Day,” the PMO statement said.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Susham Swaraj held delegation-level talks with Marapana.

“The two sides discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and ways to further deepen the historically close and friendly relations between the two countries,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a separate statement.

Sushma Swaraj and Marapana had earlier met this month when she went to Colombo to attend the Second Indian Ocean Conference.

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