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India expects substantial talks during Sirisena's visit

India expects "substantial talks and outcomes" during new Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena`s four-day state visit to the country from Feb 15.



New Delhi: India expects "substantial talks and outcomes" during new Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena`s four-day state visit to the country from Feb 15.

This would be Sirisena`s first visit abroad since he won the Jan 8 presidential elections.

"India`s ties with Sri Lanka are unique and based on historical, cultural and civilisational bonds," external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbarudin told the media here.

"We are expecting substantial talks and outcomes during his visit," he said.

Sirisena, who would arrive on Feb 15 afternoon, will Feb 16, he would visit Rajghat, hold official talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and attend a banquet hosted in his honour by the president at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

"Discussions with the prime minister would be in a restricted format and there would also be delegation level talks," the spokesperson said.

On Feb 17, the Sri Lankan president would visit Bodh Gaya in Bihar and Tirupati temple in Andhra Pradesh. He would depart on Feb 18.

Sirisena, who defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa last month, has said he was keen to further boost relations with India.

After his election, Modi had congratulated him and invited him to visit New Delhi.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera came to India in his first week in office and met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Ties between India and Sri Lanka had gone through strain under Rajapaksa, especially over the arrest and incarceration of Indian fishermen. The Sirisena government has released all Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture.

 

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