INDIA – SRI LANKA
What’s in news?
50 million dollars line of credit were announced to Sri Lanka to tackle terrorism.
- Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was in New Delhi for a three day visit, as his first visit to India at Prime Minister Modi’s invitation,
- This was his first overseas visit after he assumes charge.
- The first overseas visit to India reflects his importance he attaches to ties with India.
- Key issues discussed – Security, Economic Development and Welfare of the people of India and Sri Lanka.
- The discussions in the meeting was not only in the interest of India but also in the interest of the entire Indian ocean region.
- India gives priority to its relations with Sri Lanka under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. As per this statement, India announces two benefits to Sri Lanka;
- USD 50 million as line of credit to tackle terrorism.
- Also USD 400 million as line of credit to strengthen its economy – This may help in Sri Lanka’s development.
- This meeting may help the strategic relation between the two countries to “very high level”.
- Mr Rajapaksha also met External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar and discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues.
- In their meeting, they were discussed about the issues like fulfilling the aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, situation in the Indian Ocean region and steps to boost trade and investment ties, are expected to figure in the talks between Modi and Rajapaksa.
- It was clarified that the New President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government would fulfil aspirations of the Tamil community who lives in the North-Eastern region of Sri Lanka.
Neighbourhood first policy:
- It is part of India’s foreign policy that actively focuses on improving ties with India’s immediate neighbours which is being termed as Neighbourhood first policy in the media
- It was started well by inviting all heads of state/heads of government of South Asian countries in his inauguration of PM Modi first term and later held bilateral talks with all of them individually which was dubbed as a mini SAARC summit.
- PM Modi made his first foreign visit to Bhutan in his first term.
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