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Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa on 5–day visit to India from Friday

Rajapaksa will have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ramnath Kovind while External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar will call on him on Saturday.

A host of issues will come up for discussion, including details of projects to be taken up under a fresh 450 million US dollars line of credit announced by India during President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s visit last November.

This is the first visit of PM Rajapaksa abroad since he took over the post last November and underlines the continuous high-level engagement between the two neighbours.

A statement by PM Rajapksa office said the scheduled meetings will build on the strong relationship that already exists between the two countries and include discussions on politics, trade, development, defense, culture and tourism, among others.

The two sides will also discuss to strengthen people to people contacts and a new air service from Colombo to Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh, may be announced.

The statement said the two delegations are expected to discuss key areas under the defence and maritime security initiatives that include the Sri Lanka-India annual defence dialogue and the trilateral maritime security cooperation with India and the Maldives.

The proposed Indian assistance to enhance training opportunities for Sri Lankan public officials and vocational training  will also come up for discussions during the meetings.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa is also scheduled to visit historic religious sites including Varanasi, Sarnath, BodhGaya and Tirupati during the visit.

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