India and Sri Lanka share a close bilateral relationship

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Sri Lankan counterpart GL Peiris in New York on Wednesday and held a comprehensive discussion on close relationship between the two countries.

“Pleased to meet Sri Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris, this time in his new capacity. A comprehensive discussion on our close relationship. Look forward to working with him to advance our shared agenda,” Jaishankar said in his tweet.

In June, External Affairs Minister had a telephonic conversation with then Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and reviewed bilateral engagement between the two countries while discussing BIMSTEC, IORA and other regional issues.

Earlier, on the invitation of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Jaishankar had paid a three-day visit to the island country from January 5-7, where he reviewed the bilateral partnership with the island country’s Foreign Minister and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Jaishankar’s visit to Sri Lanka is said to have set the stage for the expedition of bilateral projects undertaken through Lines of Credit (LoCs).

India’s overall development assistance to Sri Lanka is close to US$ 3.5 billion.

Since, there is a special focus on regional connectivity initiatives in the neighbourhood under India’s LoCs, New Delhi has undertaken a total 19 projects undertaken in Sri Lanka out of which 12 have already been completed.

Out of the 19 projects undertaken in Sri Lanka through India’s LoC, 16 rail (10 completed), 2 roads (2 completed) and 1 a port project.

Reconstruction of Sri Lankan Railways after the civil war has been done primarily through India’s LoCs.

Last week, in line with India’s commitment to assist Sri Lanka in the development of its railway, a consignment of 20 railway passenger coaches supplied by Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) Ltd, reached Colombo Port.