The High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay called on the new Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris after his assumption of duties. Foreign Minister Peiris expressed appreciation and continuous support being provided by India for combatting the COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Peiris thanked the Government of India for supplying emergency consignments of liquid oxygen from east Indian ports, even by using Indian naval ships.
The discussion also centred on enhancing religious tourism. Foreign Minister Peiris also appreciated the offer of US$ 15 million by the Government of India to preserve and promote Buddhist cultural sites in Sri Lanka and expressed interest in early implementation of the offer.
Both sides also discussed on the possibility of the early convening of the Indo-Lanka Joint Commission, which was last convened in 2016. It was agreed that the six Working Groups under the Joint Commission, covering specific subject areas under education, science & technology, tourism, trade & investment, fisheries and the power sector, should meet at the earliest feasible opportunity.
Matters relating to fisheries were also discussed and both sides agreed to search for a meaningful, pragmatic solution to the issues. Indian assistance to develop fisheries harbours in Sri Lanka was greatly appreciated.
The discussion also focused on the setting up of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants by India in Sri Lanka.
Both parties highlighted the pivotal importance of relations between Sri Lanka and India which have stood the test of time as close neighbours and expressed satisfaction at the current level of cooperation and resolved to raise bilateral relations in multiple sectors to even higher levels.