India remains committed to assist Sri Lanka in its economic recovery – Jaishankar tells Sabry

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar with Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Ali Sabry

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar on Thursday conveyed to his Sri Lankan counterpart Ali Sabry that India, as a “dependable friend” of Sri Lanka, remained committed to assisting it in its economic recovery.

Jaishankar met the newly-appointed Sri Lankan foreign minister on the margins of an ASEAN conclave in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

The Indian external affairs minister also met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Vietnamese foreign minister Bui Thanh Son and Australian foreign minister Penny Wong.

“A warm first meeting with FM Ali Sabry of Sri Lanka. Congratulated him on his new responsibility. Reaffirmed India’s commitment, as a dependable friend and reliable partner, to the economic recovery and well-being of Sri Lanka. Neighbourhood First,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Sri Lanka has been reeling under an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, that left millions of people struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials.

Last month, Sri Lanka witnessed massive political turmoil following mass protests over the economic crisis that forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to flee the country.

This year, India extended a support of over USD 3.8 billion to Sri Lanka to help it deal with the economic crisis.

On his meeting with the Cambodian prime minister, Jaishankar said the issues which figured in the talks included economic cooperation, development and defence and cultural partnership.

“Thank PM Hun Sen of Cambodia for receiving me. Conveyed personal greetings of PM @narendramodi. Appreciated his warm words on our covid cooperation. Discussed enhancing our economic, development, defence and cultural partnership,” he tweeted.

“Assured our continued assistance on heritage conservation. Valued his views on regional developments,” he added.

On his meeting with the Vietnamese counterpart, Jaishankar said both sides agreed to maintain the momentum of in the comprehensive strategic partnership.

“Another good meeting with @FMBuiThanhSon of Vietnam. Agreed to keep working to maintain the momentum of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” he tweeted.

Referring to his meeting with Australian foreign minister Wong, Jaishankar said they exchanged perspectives on regional and global issues.

“Pleasure meeting FM @SenatorWong of Australia again. Took positive note of the progress in our bilateral relations. Benefited from the exchange of perspectives on regional and global issues,” he said.

(The Print)