PM Modi meets Sri Lankan Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa

Published: Jun 09, 2019, 17:57 IST | mid-day online desk

Before the meeting, he had discussed issues of "mutual interest" with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during a bilateral meeting at the President's Secretariat

PM Modi meets Sri Lankan Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa
Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves as he emplanes for Sri Lanka from Male in Maldives/ AFP

Colombo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the incumbent Sri Lankan Leader of Opposition and former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his official visit to the nation on Sunday.

Before the meeting, he had discussed issues of "mutual interest" with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during a bilateral meeting at the President's Secretariat. He also signed the visitor's book at the Secretariat in Sirisena's presence.

"Reinforcing partnership. PM @narendramodi and President of Sri Lanka @MaithripalaS discussed bilateral issues of mutual interest. A banquet was hosted in honour of PM by President @MaithripalaS #Neighbourhoodfirst," Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Sirisena was amongst the BIMSTEC leaders who had attended Modi's swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi on May 30. The two leaders had also held a bilateral the following day.

Showing India's solidarity with Sri Lanka, Modi is the first world leader to visit the country after the devastating Easter terror attacks, which killed over 250 people and left scores wounded.

The Prime Minister also paid his respects at the St. Anthony's Shrine, Kochchikade, which was amongst the eight locations targetted by terrorists during the terror attacks on April 21.

The Sri Lanka visit is the second-leg of Modi's first overseas bilateral engagement after being sworn-in as the Prime Minister for the second consecutive term, the firts was the Maldives. This shows the importance India attaches to its 'Neighbourhood First' Policy.

He is now slated to interact with the Indian community in Colombo, before departing for India.

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