Resetting of India-Lanka relations: Delhi first port of call for Sirisena

Barely days after the installation of a new government in the island nation, India’s relations with Sri Lanka are already on an upswing and have entered a phase of resetting, with President Maithripala Sirisena planning to visit India soon, followed by a reciprocal visit by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held three-hour long discussions with her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera on a bright sunny day in New Delhi January 18. Reflecting the new shine in India-Sri Lanka ties, which had suffered in the last few years due to then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s pro-China adventurism, the discussions, as Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry said, showed “warmth and mutual understanding” and resulted in substantive outcomes on the way ahead in this crucial relationship.
The wide-ranging discussions culminated in plans for a series of two-way high-profile visits, which are expected to reset and rejuvenate India-Sri Lanka relations in the months to come. Sushma Swaraj is expected to travel to the neigbouring island nation soon for holding the meeting of the joint commission. This will be followed by President Sirisena’s trip to India, likely February. The Sri Lankan foreign minister is also carrying an invitation for an early visit by India’s prime minister, said the spokesperson.

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