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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sri Lanka already commenced ‘low level’ talks with India, China on debt restructuring – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said that discussions on restructuring Sri Lanka’s bilateral debt has already commenced with India and China at a lower level and that he is visiting Japan to discuss their role in the process.

He stated that talks with China would go to a higher level probably after the National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.

The President stated this during an exclusive interview with StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale.

Responding to a question regarding the progress made thus far with regard to resolving the economic crisis, he said that Sri Lanka has to deal with its creditors.

“We’ve had discussions with the IMF. We have come to a Staff Level Agreement. But now we have to deal with our creditors. We didn’t have to do that earlier, we didn’t have this serious crisis. But now we have to deal with our creditors. We are unable to service our debts. Once we have a final… come to a conclusion with the creditors then we will go back to the IMF board.

He said that he is going to Japan to discuss with the Japanese Government their role. “We already started some talks with India but at a lower level. We are just starting the talks with China. We’ll have to go to a higher level, but we have to now see whether we do it before the party conference or after. So, if you are looking at what is the phase we are in, okay we are implementing the prior actions that are required under the Staff-Level Agreement and we have started the discussions with the bilateral creditors. Once that’s over I think we have to do with the private creditors.

“Since we are just starting the talks it may have to be just after the conference. But we will first talk with Japan then we will have a discussion with India.”

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