Sushma Swaraj arrives in Colombo

Colombo, Feb. 5 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived here on Friday on a two-day visit during which she would attend the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission meeting.

The External Affairs Minister was received by her Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera on her arrival here.

“Strengthening a cherished relationship. EAM @SushmaSwaraj arrives in Colombo. Is received by FM Samaraweera,” tweeted Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Swaraj, who is accompanied by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, will co-chair the ninth session of the Joint Commission meeting with her Lankan counterpart.

A range of bilateral issues, including economic, trade, power and energy, technical, defence and maritime cooperation are likely to feature during Swaraj’s discussion with Samaraweera.

Both leaders will review India’s extensive assistance to Sri Lanka in housing, health, education and training of professionals, projects to enhance social and cultural ties. The problem of fishermen is part of the agenda at the meeting.

The two sides will discuss an early launch of ferry service between Thalaimannar and Rameshwaram and development of Ramayana tourist circuit in Sri Lanka and Buddhist circuit in India.

Swaraj will also meet the top Sri Lankan leadership, including President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of Opposition and Chief of Tamil National Alliance, R Sampanthan.

The discussions are expected to give direction to ongoing negotiations on the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), which both sides are eager to sign by the end of this year.

Swaraj will tomorrow inaugurate Digital India Exhibition, which is being organized as a part of Festival of India in Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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