Indo-Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Assn. briefed on bilateral relations | Sunday Observer

Indo-Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Assn. briefed on bilateral relations

27 August, 2023

An interaction was held on Wednesday at the Parliamentary complex between High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay, members of the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association and leaders of various political parties.

Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena convened the meeting, which was attended by more than 50 MPs. External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar addressed the gathering via a video message.

Speaker Abeywardena reiterated the long standing bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka and emphasized the role played by India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association as a vital platform for nurturing dialogue and cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries.

High Commissioner Baglay recalled the recent visit of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to India and reiterated the central role of connectivity in bringing greater economic prosperity to the two nations.

of the India-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Association Secretary Anura Priyadarshana Yapa appreciated India’s assistance to Sri Lanka and called for greater Parliamentary exchanges between the two nations.

External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar delved into India’s positive contributions to Sri Lanka’s development, stability, and prosperity based on geographical proximity and shared democratic values between the two countries. He highlighted the swift and substantial response by India to the economic challenges faced by Sri Lanka over the past year, exemplifying India’s commitment to the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. He said that the financial assistance of approximately USD 4 billion extended by India was unprecedented in both magnitude and swiftness, surpassing the response of international institutions and bilateral partners.

The External Affairs Minister elaborated on India’s vision of fostering long-term and sustainable solutions, mentioning collaborative efforts to address Sri Lanka’s energy requirements through grid connectivity and a petroleum, oil and lubricants pipeline. He highlighted the potential of renewable energy and regional economic activities, including the Trincomalee hub, for mutual benefit.

Minister Dr. Jaishankar said that the key to prosperous future between the two countries lay in enhanced connectivity in various domains, such as maritime, air, energy, trade, investment and digital ties. Referencing the recent visit of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to India, he said that the talks between the two Leaders reinforced the commitment to enhancing trade, investment, and people-to-people connectivity, exemplifying the shared vision of collaboration.

Dr. Jaishankar reiterated India’s “Security and Growth for All in the Region” (SAGAR) outlook and its expression through forums such as the Colombo Security Conclave, the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and BIMSTEC.