India, Sri Lanka discuss fishermen`s issue, trade

Repatriation of Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka and ways to speed up trade dominated discussions between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris who called on her Friday.

Updated: Jul 11, 2014, 21:44 PM IST

New Delhi: Repatriation of Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka and ways to speed up trade dominated discussions between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris who called on her Friday.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told reporters here that Sushma Swaraj thanked Peiris for Sri Lanka`s "fast track approach" for release of Indian fishermen.

He said 249 Indian fishermen have been released by Sri Lanka - "the highest in the last five years - since the National Democratic Alliance government assumed office".

"Both countries felt that there is need for long-term solution to the problem and it should be seen as a matter of livelihood," he added.

Akbaruddin said there were "fairly detailed" discussions between the two ministers on mutual investment in trade.

"The external affairs minister discussed about the largest Sri Lankan investment to India, a garment city Brandix in Visakhapatnam, which will provide jobs to 38,500 Indians," he said.

He said Sushma Swaraj accepted Peiris`s invitation to visit the island country.

"The dates for the visit will be worked out through diplomatic channels," he said.
On the question of India`s stand on the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against Sri Lanka for alleged human rights abuse, Akbaruddin said there has been no shift. India had abstained from voting on the resolution in March this year.
"We feel international bodies should address human rights in a cooperative way rather than taking a punitive approach," he said.