India, Sri Lanka share concerns about cross-border terrorism

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka have shared concerns over cross-border terrorism in a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“Prime Ministers Modi and Wickremesinghe shared concerns at the spread of cross-border terrorism in the region and reaffirmed that they were of one mind on the need to counter this menace, which was affecting progress in entire South Asia,” sources here on Wednesday said following the meeting.

India last month pulled out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November citing Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism in the region.

New Delhi’s move came after the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an army base at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.

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Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan followed suit citing the same reason, virtually isolating Pakistan in the region.

Sri Lanka expressed the view that the Saarc Summit would not be possible in the absence of India.

According to the sources, Modi and Wickremesinghe reviewed progress in bilateral efforts to forge closer cooperation in economic, defence and security matters.

Both leaders agreed on more active participation by Indian industry in developmental priorities in Sri Lanka

During the course of the day, Wickremesinghe also held meetings with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.

“In the ministerial meetings the Sri Lankan Prime Minister discussed ways to build security and defence collaboration between the countries, Indian collaboration in the further development of road and port infrastructure, and development of the power and oil and gas infrastructure in Sri Lanka,” the sources said.

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In the evening, Wickremesinghe called on President Pranab Mukherjee and both sides reiterated the urgency to counter cross border terrorism through united action, including at the UN through early adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention on Counter Terrorism and strengthening internal security systems.

Wickremesinghe also shared his vision for the economic and political transformation under way in Sri Lanka and the opportunities for Indian industry in partnering various development projects in the country.



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