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India, Sri Lanka agree to spice up financial and power ties | Narendra Modi Information

The leaders of India and Sri Lanka have agreed to enhance their nations’ financial and power ties, in addition to think about constructing a land hyperlink between them.

The bulletins on Friday got here throughout Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s go to to India the place he held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Wickremesinghe arrived in New Delhi a day earlier for the official go to, his first since taking on the highest job final yr after an financial meltdown pressured his predecessor to flee.

India’s assist of almost $4bn between January and July final yr was vital for Sri Lanka after it virtually ran out of {dollars} and sank right into a monetary disaster that left it struggling to fund important imports together with gas and drugs.

“The previous one yr has been stuffed with challenges for the folks of Sri Lanka. Being an in depth pal, as at all times, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the folks of Sri Lanka,” Modi stated in his remarks on Friday.

He stated the 2 leaders “adopted a imaginative and prescient doc for our Financial Partnership” to strengthen maritime, air, power and people-to-people connectivity, to speed up mutual cooperation in tourism, energy, commerce, larger schooling, and talent improvement.

Modi additionally stated the 2 sides would work rapidly to attach their electrical energy grids and research the feasibility of constructing a petroleum pipeline and a land bridge between the nations.

Establishing “land connectivity” throughout the Palk Strait, which in locations is barely about 25km (15 miles) broad, would give India entry to the important thing ports of Trincomalee and Colombo and strengthen a “millennia-old relationship”, the neighbours stated in a strategic doc.

The initiatives to attach the ability grids by way of undersea cables and the oil pipeline have been anticipated to price about $4bn in complete, in accordance with officers on each side. Few particulars have been launched on the agreements on renewables.

Wickremesinghe stated that “developing a multi-product petroleum pipeline from the southern a part of India to Sri Lanka will guarantee an inexpensive and dependable provide of power to Sri Lanka.”

‘New chapter’

The 2 nations additionally will quickly restart negotiations on a extra expansive commerce deal often called the Financial and Technological Cooperation Settlement.

Wickremesinghe stated he had up to date Modi in regards to the reform measures being taken by his authorities to resolve the island nation’s monetary disaster and expressed appreciation for the assist supplied by India for the “most difficult interval in fashionable historical past”.

India is a part of a typical platform established with Japan and different Paris Membership members to assist Sri Lanka restructure its debt. It stays a key creditor with $1.9bn in excellent debt.

Wickremesinghe’s go to to the regional powerhouse was “a transparent sign that India’s assist over the past yr is appreciated”, stated Constantino Xavier, a fellow on the Centre for Social and Financial Progress.

It confirmed that India “will likely be an important accomplice for Sri Lanka to reset its financial system, its forms, its decision-making methods for future financial partnerships”, he added. “This go to marks, in that sense, a brand new chapter.”

Whereas New Delhi has historically had robust ties with its southern neighbour, Sri Lanka has turn out to be a jousting floor between India and China as a consequence of its strategic location within the Indian Ocean.

The 2 leaders additionally expressed assist to totally implement an India-backed scheme to share energy with Sri Lanka’s ethnic minority Tamil inhabitants within the island’s north and east provinces. The minority holds linguistic and cultural ties with Tamils in southern India.

A civil battle between the bulk Sinhala-controlled Sri Lankan authorities and ethnic Tamil rebels killed at the very least 100,000 folks, in accordance with United Nations conservative calculations, earlier than it ended with the rebels’ defeat in 2009.

“We hope that the federal government of Sri Lanka will fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils,” Modi stated.

Wickremesinghe stated he offered Modi with a proposal for reconciliation and energy sharing, saying he has urged his parliament to succeed in a consensus and resolve the long-running battle. His delegation additionally included two Sri Lankan Tamil ministers.


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