The newly appointed Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay paid a courtesy call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (29). He presented his credential to President via a video conferencing ceremony on 14th May marking a historic moment in Sri Lanka’s diplomatic relations.
During the discussion that followed both President Rajapaksa and the Indian Envoy reaffirmed two country’s commitment to further strengthening bilateral relations exploring new avenues of cooperation.
President Rajapaksa recalling his cordial telephone conversation with the Indian leader on last Saturday (23) thanked the Government of India and its people for the generous assistance extended to Sri Lanka during the current difficult period.
Mr. Baglay conveying greetings from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi commended President Rajapaksa for his leadership in the successful battle against COVID – 19 pandemic.
President and the Indian High Commissioner stressed the need to expedite the implementation of already agreed joint projects for the benefit of both countries. Areas such as tertiary education, tourism, information and communication technology, agriculture and agri-based products were mentioned for enhancing bilateral cooperation.
The Indian High Commissioner said that India was ready to provide more opportunities for Sri Lankan scholars to study in India in their chosen fields.
President Rajapaksa pointed out the need to develop people to people relations in addition to economic and trade cooperation.
Both Sri Lankan President and Indian envoy agreed in order to overcome challenges posed by COVID – 19 pandemic mutually beneficial cooperation between countries of the region should be consolidated.
Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga was also present at the discussion.