India, Sri Lanka hold virtual meeting on Pongal

Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar held a virtual meeting with the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa. This interaction follows Mr Rajapaksa’s visit to India last month.

EAM Jaishankar conveyed greetings to the Sri Lankan Finance Minister and the Government and the people of Sri Lanka on his own behalf and on behalf of the Government and the people of India for the year 2022 and on the occasion of the festival of Pongal celebrated both in India and Sri Lanka.

He conveyed that India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways for overcoming the economic and other challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic. As close friends and maritime neighbours, both India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic interlinkages.

Both Ministers positively noted that extension of US$ 400 million to Sri Lanka under the SAARC currency swap arrangement and deferral of A.C.U. settlement of USD 515.2 million by two months, which would assist Sri Lanka.

The two Ministers reviewed the progress in extending Indian credit facility of USD 1 billion for importing food, essential items and medicine and USD 500 million for importing fuel from India.

EAM Jaishankar also brought up the issue of Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. He urged the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure early release of the detained fishermen on humanitarian considerations.

The two Ministers agreed to remain in close touch for guiding mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation towards long-term economic partnership for shared progress and prosperity.

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