India, Sri Lanka agree to deepen coop. in security, counter-terrorism

NEW DELHI, India and Sri Lanka on Friday agreed to deepen bilateral cooperation in several areas of mutual interests especially security and counter-terrorism.

In a joint press statement issued soon after talks between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who arrived in New Delhi on a three-day visit, Modi said that USD 50 million line of credit was offered to Sri Lanka to help fight terrorism in addition to USD 400 million as assistance to strengthen the island nation’s economy.

“The mandate given to you is the expression of the ambitions of the people of Sri Lanka for a strong country. A strong Sri Lanka is not only in the interest of India but that of the entire Indian Ocean region. Sri Lanka and India share a strong bond. We give priority to our relations with Sri Lanka under our ?’Neighbourhood First?’ policy,” Modi said.

Around 46,000 houses have already been built and 14,000 houses are under construction for Tamil origin people in Sri Lanka under Indian housing project. To help Sri Lanka strengthen its solar projects, another USD 100 million credit line has also been given, Modi said.

On his part, Rajapaksa hailed the bilateral talks as fruitful, focusing on security cooperation.

“During my tenure as president, I want to bring the relationship between India and Sri Lanka to a very high level. We have a long-standing relationship historically as well as politically,” he told the media persons.

Source: Kuwait News Agency