Sri Lankan President in India on four-day visit; to meet PM, discuss key issues

New Delhi/Chennai, PTI | Updated : 15 February 2015, 08:44 AM

In his first foreign visit after assuming charge, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will arrive here on Sunday on a four-day visit during which he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss key issues including peace and reconciliation process in his country.

Briefing reporters on the Presidential visit, the Spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry said both the countries were looking at “substantive talks” in terms of announcement of agreements and frameworks.

All bilateral matters including economy, peace and Sri Lankan reconciliation process, which is an important issue, will be discussed during Sirisena’s visit, he said.

India has been hoping that the new government will develop Lanka on the “foundation of genuine and effective reconciliation” creating harmony between all sections there.

The 63-year-old leader, who will arrive here on Sunday, will hold talks with Indian leadership on February 16 and will travel to Buddhist pilgrimage site Bodh Gaya and Hindu temple in Tirupati on February 17, he said. The Sri Lankan President will return on February 18.

Sirisena, who dethroned Mahinda Rajapaksa after a bitter presidential poll on January 9, has indicated that he wants to have closer relations with India.

He will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee, who will host a banquet in his honour.

Asked about repatriation of 100,000 Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu, of which some 68,000 are housed in over 100 government-run camps, he said India and Sri Lanka were engaged on the issue and held talks on voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees last month.

First Published: Sunday, February 15, 2015 08:40 AM
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