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Neighbourhood First: India’s Line of Credit to Sri Lanka will help boost infra projects

FE Online
The Sri Lankan president is a former defence secretary and has been the main man behind the ending of his country's civil war. (Twitter image)

On Friday, at the end of talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the newly elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a new $400 million Line of Credit (LOC) to fund infrastructure projects in the neighbouring nation has been extended.

While the two countries during talks agreed to utilize an existing credit line of $100 million to develop solar power projects in Sri Lanka, New Delhi has also offered another $50 million to help in the fight against terrorism.

The LOC of $ 400 million is expected to help in accelerating the Project Cooperation of mutual benefit between the two countries. Under the Indian Housing Project, 46,000 houses have been constructed for the internally displaced in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka.

While there is great progress in the construction of 14,000 houses for Tamils of Indian origin in the Up-Country region in the talks today the two sides have decided to work on 20 community development projects.

India was the first overseas destination for the new President of Sri Lanka and the talks between the two leaders focussed on issues including strengthening of trade ties, boosting maritime security, addressing concerns of the fishermen and to fight against terrorism.

Addressing the media jointly with the visiting leader, Modi said that the visit will further deepen the bonds between the two countries and will energise the partnership.

On the issue related to the Tamils, Modi expressed was confidence that the Sri Lankan government will carry forward the reconciliation process and fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil community.

Adding, "A stable Sri Lanka is not only in interest of India but for the entire Indian Ocean Region."

The visiting leader told the media that the talks focused majorly on security in the region and economic cooperation and were "fruitful".

Earlier in the morning after the ceremonial welcome, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would work towards taking his country’s bilateral relationship with India to a "very high level".

The Sri Lankan president is a former defence secretary and has been the main man behind the ending of his country's civil war.