India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar called on his Sri Lankan counterpart Minister Ali Sabry and other ministerial colleagues in Colombo on yesterday (Jan 19) soon after arriving on the island.
The focus of the discussion has fallen on the cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the fields of infrastructure, connectivity, energy, industry and health.
During the meeting, Jaishankar has conveyed India’s commitment to increase investment flows to Sri Lanka to hasten the island’s economic recovery.
The Indian minister arrived in Sri Lanka last evening for a three-day official visit, during which he would meet with President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena as well.
Jaishankar’s visit comes a day after India officially conveyed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it strongly supports Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring plan.
“We hereby confirm our strong support for Sri Lanka’s prospective (loan) program and commit to supporting Sri Lanka with financing/debt relief consistent with restoring Sri Lanka’s public debt sustainability,” Indian finance ministry official Rajat Kumar Mishra told the IMF chief in a letter dated January 16, 2023.
Sri Lanka is trying to secure a bridge loan of USD 2.9 billion from the IMF and making efforts to get the financial assurances from its major bilateral creditors – India, China and Japan – which is the requisite for Colombo to get the IMF bailout package.