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Modi meets Lanka President Sirisena

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday pitched for a permanent solution to the vexed fishermen issue during his talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in which a range of other key matters including ways to boost trade also figured.

Modi hosted a dinner for Sirisena over which both the leaders deliberated all major bilateral issues, particularly problems being faced by Indian fishermen, status of various economic projects being implemented by India in the island nation and steps to further increase trade and investment.

Sirisena arrived here today on a two-day visit. He will leave for Ujjain tomorrow to attend the Simhastha Mahakumbh and Modi will accompany him during the visit. “Prime Minister said that President Sirisena’s visit for the Simhastha Kumbha in Ujjain was very significant as it showed the deep civilisational ties between India and Sri Lanka,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

In the meeting, Swarup said Modi stressed on the need to develop a mechanism and find a permanent solution to the issue of fishermen straying into each other waters. Modi also appreciated Sirisena’s efforts to promote reconciliation in Sri Lanka so that all sections of the Lankan society can live with equality and dignity.

“The two leaders discussed all issues of bilateral interest, in particular the problems being faced by Indian fishermen, the status of various economic projects being implemented by India and efforts to further increase trade and investment,” Swarup said.

He said Sirisena expressed appreciation to Modi for the assistance provided by India to Sri Lanka, particularly for various developmental projects. “In this context, both the leaders appreciated the meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Commission led by two foreign ministers, which had met after the gap of three years,” said the MEA spokesperson. The Sri Lankan President will also visit the famous Sanchi Stupa in Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh. He will then go to Bengaluru from where he will depart for Colombo in the evening.

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