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S Jaishankar to visit Sri Lanka over weekend, fishermen issue likely to be discussed

New Delhi: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar will travel to Sri Lanka over the weekend to discuss implementation of various decisions taken during the recent visits here by the President and Prime Minister of the island nation. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said the aim of Jaishankar’s visit is to discuss economic cooperation and to pursue various initiatives discussed between the leadership of the two countries.

“Foreign Secretary is going to Colombo over this weekend to discuss economic coperation with Sri Lanka and to pursue various initiatives and ideas discussed during the two high-level visits of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe,” he said.

The contentious issue of capture of fishermen is also likely to figure during Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo. After Sirisena’s ascent to power, there have been several high-level visits by Indian and Sri Lankan leaders to each other’s countries starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s in March 2015, which marked the first visit to the island nation by an Indian leader since 1987.

Sirisena has twice visited India since January 2015. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also made his first overseas visit to India after assuming office. He had visited India earlier this month also. Sri Lanka and India enjoy a robust partnership and New Delhi is Colombo’s largest partner in defence training.