Tue, 31 Jan 2023

Colombo [Sri Lanka], January 20 (ANI): Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on Friday conveyed Sri Lanka's profound gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Indian government, EAM S Jaishankar and the people of India for assisting Sri Lanka in the face of the economic crisis by providing support amounting to USD 4 billion.

"We are experiencing our most serious economic crisis. It is no exaggeration to say that it was for the most part, the enormous support amounting to USD 4 billion worth of credit line provided by India for the import of essential goods as well as other humanitarian assistance that we were able to regain some level of financial and economic stability," Sabry said on Friday in a press conference in Sri Lanka alongside his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar.

"For this on behalf of the Sri Lankan president, the government and the citizens of Sri Lanka, I convey our profound gratitude to PM Narendra Modi, the Indian government, Jaishankar and to the people of India," the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister said.

He further said that Sri Lanka is in a decisive moment in discussions with the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and that in order to place their economy on the path of IMF-assisted recovery, Sri Lanka needed the assurances of their creditors.

He said that India has once again extended its support to Sri Lanka. "Once again, India has extended its hand in support of Sri Lanka. It is the first country to officially back our debt restructuring program by conveying financial assurances to the IMF. We are grateful to India for showing their confidence and declaring solidarity with us," Sabry said during the press conference.

He said that in the areas of bilateral cooperation, a number of important initiatives were concluded in the presence of Jaishankar at the presidential secretariat this morning. This includes the signing of an MoU for an Indian grant for the implementation of high-impact community development projects.

"The longstanding relations between India and Sri Lanka are based on cultural and historical links, shared values and growing economic connection. India is the largest source of tourists to Sri Lanka, we hope the country's progress will benefit the region," Sabry said.

We are watching India's economic success and international admiration with great prestige, he added.

EAM Jaishankar is currently on an official visit to Sri Lanka from January 19-20.

Jaishankar on Thursday discussed cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, industry and health with Sabry.

"A good meeting with Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and other ministerial colleagues this evening in Colombo. Discussed India-Sri Lanka cooperation in infrastructure, connectivity, energy, industry and health," he tweeted.

He also conveyed India's commitment to increase investment flows to Sri Lanka to hasten its economic recovery. (ANI)

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