President arrives in India on State visit

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday arrived at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on a three day State visit to India.

President Rajapaksa will meet Indian President Pratibha Patil and hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The discussions are expected to cover the rehabilitation of Tamils and the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries among other things, Indian networks have reported.

President Rajapaksa accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa received a warm welcome from India’s State Minister for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao at the airport. Many Indian state officials were present.

Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, Traditional Industies and Small Enterprise Development Minister Douglas Devananda, Mass Media and Communication Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, President’s Coordinating Secretary Parliamentarian Sachin Vaas Gunawardena and Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe also accompanied the President.

India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) President Sonia Gandhi and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj will call on President Rajapaksa during his visit.

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