President Mahinda Rajapaksa and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met for bilateral talks this morning at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, where the President was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister.
The two leaders had an in-depth discussion of issues of mutual concern. President Rajapaksa described the initiatives Sri Lanka has taken with regard to rehabilitation, resettlement, reconstruction and the ongoing reconciliation process in the country. President Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Modi also discussed the issue of fishermen of both countries and measures that can be taken to find a permanent solution through a process in which the views of fishermen from both countries can be taken into consideration. Both agreed that talks between the fishermen and the meeting of the joint committee of officials must continue.
Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude to President Rajapaksa for participating in his inauguration ceremony, stating that the presence of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) leaders augurs well for the future of SAARC cooperation and solidarity. The Prime Minister was of the view that SAARC must focus on common issues that can benefit the region and reflect our concerns on a global platform.
President Rajapaksa, welcoming the views expressed by Prime Minister Modi, stated that India’s leadership is crucial for the success of SAARC ventures and Sri Lanka looks forward to working with India in taking forward SAARC operations.
The President arrived in New Delhi yesterday (May 26), upon the invitation of Mr. Modi, on a two-day visit to attend the Prime Minister’s swearing-in ceremony.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris, Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development Mr. Arumugam Thondaman, Monitoring MP of the Ministry of External Affairs Mr. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Mayor of the Jaffna Municipal Council Mrs. Yogeswaray Patgunarajah, Secretary to the President Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs Mrs. Kshenuka Senewiratne and Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam were present at the meeting.