Calling India a “long-standing friend”, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting his country in the aftermath of last year’s Easter Sunday terror attacks and outlined that New Delhi has always helped Colombo in its fight against terrorism.
In a joint press briefing with PM Modi, Mahinda Rajapaksa said he hopes that India will continue to help Sri Lanka fight terrorism.
Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for the neighbourhood first policy and the priority India gives to Sri Lanka.
“We had agreed that our cooperation is multifaceted and priority is given to a number of areas including security, economy, culture and social sectors. Part of our discussions centered on cooperation with regard to the security of the two countries. India has always assisted Sri Lanka to enhance our capacity, capabilities in intelligence and counter-terrorism. We look forward to getting continued support in this regard,” he said.
“I thank the Prime Minister for visiting Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday terror attacks that provided us with immense strength to come to terms with the tragedy. We also appreciate Prime Minister Modi’s $400 million line of credit to enhance the economy of Sri Lanka and another $50 million line of credit for fighting terrorism,” he added.
The Sri Lankan president urged PM Modi to consider further assistance to expand housing projectS all over Sri Lanka to benefit people from rural areas.
“The Prime Minister and I discussed how Sri Lanka and India can work together in the field of economy. India is among the world’s fastest growing economies. I discussed with PM Modi how Sri Lanka could benefit from certain economic sectors where India is in a strong position,” he said.
Concluding his statement, Mahinda Rajapaksa said, “India is our closest neighbour and a long-standing friend. The close historical links…provided a solid foundation to our ties.”