President Maithripala Sirisena and Indian Premier Modi meet; 4 agreements including a nuclear corporation pact signed
Sri Lanka and its closet neighbour India have agreed to expand cooperation in a number of sectors including defense, energy, trade, investment, agriculture and healthcare.
The two sides agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries when President Maithripala Sirisena met Indian's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday in New Delhi.
President Sirisena, who arrived in New Delhi Sunday, is on his first official overseas visit since assuming the top post after last month's presidential election.
Welcoming the President Sirisena, Prime Minister Modi said India is Sri Lanka's closest neighbor and friend and the goodwill and support of the people of India will always be with Sri Lanka.
He said President Sirisena's mandate carries the collective voice of Sri Lanka and it represents the aspirations of the Sri Lankan people for a united, peaceful and prosperous nation, in which all citizens enjoy a life of opportunity and dignity.
In a statement released to media after his meeting with President Sirisena, Prime Minister Modi said he had excellent discussions today with President Sirisena on the bilateral relations and international issues and they are "committed to unlock the vast potential of our economic cooperation."
The two sides also intend to further improve air and sea connectivity between India and Sri Lanka he said adding that the bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is yet another "demonstration of our mutual trust."
This is the first such agreement Sri Lanka has signed and it opens new avenues for cooperation, including in areas like agriculture and healthcare.
The Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister Modi have also agreed to expand the defence and security cooperation.
The Prime Minister has assured President Sirisena of India's commitment to its development partnership with Sri Lanka.
They also agreed on encouraging the fishermen`s associations on both sides to meet again soon and find a solution that can be taken forward by both governments.
The two sides also signed an agreement on a Programme of Cultural Cooperation that "will nurture those ties and promote contacts between people."
The Prime Minister reiterated that he has accepted an invitation to visit Sri Lanka and looking forward to the visit in March.