COLOMBO (News 1st); India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, reiterated that India will be a faithful and reliable partner of Sri Lanka, during a virtual meeting with Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
In a series of tweets, the Indian minister said: “We have positively noted the extension of the swap facility of $400 million and the deferred settlement of the ACU of $515.2 million.
“Discussed the rapid completion of a $1 billion term loan facility for essential commodities and a $500 million line of credit for fuel purchases,” he added .
He also assured that India will take initiatives with other international partners to support Sri Lanka at this important time.
“Welcomed the progress made on the Trincomalee tank farm which will contribute to energy security,” he tweeted.
According to Dr. Jaishankar, India’s investment projects and plans that would boost the Sri Lankan economy were discussed at the meeting.
He also called for the speedy release of Indian fishermen detained by Sri Lanka as a humanitarian gesture.
India’s External Affairs Ministry said Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar held a virtual meeting with Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and the interaction follows Rajapaksa’s visit to India last month.
Dr. Jaishankar indicated that India has always supported Sri Lanka and will continue to support Sri Lanka in every possible way to overcome the economic and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As close friends and maritime neighbours, India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic ties,” he noted.
The two ministers noted positively the extension of US$400 million to Sri Lanka under the SAARC Currency Swap Agreement and the postponement of the ACU settlement of US$515.2 million two months, which would help Sri Lanka.
The two ministers reviewed the progress made in extending India’s $1 billion credit facility for the import of food, essential items and medicine and $500 million for India. import of fuel from India.
Rajapaksa recalled India’s longstanding cooperation with Sri Lanka and deeply appreciated the gestures of support. He hailed Indian investment in Sri Lanka in a number of important areas including ports, infrastructure, energy, renewables, power and manufacturing, and assured that an enabling environment will be provided for encourage these investments.
In this context, the two ministers noted that the recent steps taken by the Sri Lankan government to jointly modernize the Trincomalee oil parks will boost investor confidence, in addition to enhancing Sri Lanka’s energy security.
Dr S. Jaishankar raised the issue of Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. He urged the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure the prompt release of fishermen detained on humanitarian grounds.
The two ministers agreed to stay in close contact to guide mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation towards a long-term economic partnership for shared progress and prosperity.