India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways, Jaishankar said

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday had a virtual meeting with Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa and reviewed the progress in extending the Indian credit facility of USD 1 billion for importing food, essential items and medicine and USD 500 million for importing fuel from India.

Both Ministers positively noted the extension of US$ 400 million to Sri Lanka under the SAARC currency swap arrangement and deferral of A.C.U. settlement of USD 515.2 million by two months, which would assist Sri Lanka, the MEA said in a statement.

During the meeting, Sri Lankan Finance Minister Rajapaksa recalled India’s long standing cooperation with Sri Lanka and deeply appreciated the gestures of support.

He welcomed Indian investments in Sri Lanka in a number of important spheres including ports, infrastructure, energy, renewable energy, power and manufacturing and assured that a conducive environment will be provided to encourage such investments.

In this context, both Ministers noted that the recent steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka for jointly modernizing Trincomalee Oil Tank Farms will boost confidence of investors, apart from enhancing Sri Lanka’s energy security.

Dr. Jaishankar in his remarks conveyed that India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support Sri Lanka in all possible ways for overcoming the economic and other challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

As close friends and maritime neighbours, both India and Sri Lanka stand to gain from closer economic inter linkages.

EAM Jaishankar brought up the issue of Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. He urged the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure early release of the detained fishermen on humanitarian considerations.

The two Ministers agreed to remain in close touch for guiding mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation towards long-term economic partnership for shared progress and prosperity.