The visit is a reflection of India's deep engagement with Sri Lanka as it comes out of an economic crisis

Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan will participate in the celebrations connected with the 75th Independence Day of Sri Lanka on February 4, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.

During his visit to Sri Lanka on February 3-4, MoS Muraleedharan will also have separate bilateral interactions with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister MUM Ali Sabry on matters of mutual interest. He will also have an interactive session with prominent members of the Indian Diaspora, the MEA added.

The MEA noted that Sri Lanka is India’s close neighbhour and friend and occupies a central place in India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. "India, as always is committed to stand with the people of Sri Lanka for their economic recovery, growth and prosperity," the MEA pointed out.

The visit is another reflection of India's deep engagement with Sri Lanka as it recovers from the worst economic crisis since the country became independent.

An acute shortage of essentials, including food, fertilizer, and fuel, due to a forex crunch forced people to take to the streets in protest, sparking a political crisis. India had stepped in and helped with the supply of essential commodities.

Last month, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had visited Sri Lanka and assured it of all possible help in its economic recovery.

During the visit on January 19–20, EAM Jaishankar reaffirmed India's commitment to aiding the nation in overcoming its current economic difficulties. He also met with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and President Wickremesinghe.

EAM Jaishankar underlined that "India is a reliable neighbour, a trustworthy partner, one who is prepared to go the extra mile when Sri Lanka feels the need".

India has helped Sri Lanka amid its economic crisis in a number of ways, including financial support from in the form of loans and lines of credit. India provided unprecedented financial support of nearly USD 4 billion during 2022, in line with the ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy.

During EAM Jaishankar's visit, Sri Lanka thanked India for its generous support of a USD 3.9 billion credit line extended to it last year and the assurances given by New Delhi to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure the country's debt.

On Thursday, India reiterated its commitment to further strengthen its cooperation with Sri Lanka, which is recovering from its worst economic crisis in many decades. The message was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to his Sri Lankan counterpart MUM Ali Sabry.

"EAM @DrSJaishankar conveyed to Hon. FM @alisabrypc that #India is committed to further strengthening the cooperation between India and Sri Lanka for mutual benefit. He also thanked Hon. FM for felicitations on #India's 74th Republic Day," the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted.