India, Lanka vow to jointly fight terror

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
India today reaffirmed its commitment to continue development partnership with Sri Lanka. Both countries recognised their “closely aligned security interests” and promised to deepen defence and security cooperation.
Reviewing a range of relationships with visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said both sides had agreed to intensify cooperation in combating terrorism and work together for security and stability in the maritime neighbourhood.
The three-day visit of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, which began yesterday, is significant as it is his first official overseas tour since his election last month. The bilateral relations took a dip during the previous Mahinda Rajapakse government amid indications that he was inclined towards China.
However, with President Maithripala Sirisena assuming leadership earlier this year, the relations resumed its upward trajectory. At a joint media briefing after the meeting, Modi said Sri Lanka is India’s largest partner in defence training programme and “we will continue to expand our cooperation in this area”.
While security and defence issues were on the table, accent on trade and investment was pronounced with India seeking the support of Wickremesinghe for Indian investors who are keen to take part in the country’s economic development in the field of infrastructure, energy and transport.
“We would like to see our trade grow and become more balanced for Sri Lanka. We discussed how we can achieve these goals in a more open and competitive Indian market, including through bilateral arrangements for trade and investment,” Modi said.