Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, who arrived in New Delhi for his three-day visit on October 5, will be meeting all senior leaders in order to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two nations.
Wickramasinghe, who is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi later in the day, was visited by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with former Union Cabinet Minister Anand Sharma.
The Sri Lankan PM also spoke with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday and is expected to meet with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.
During his visit, Wickramasinghe will touch upon various topics of interest to both India and Sri Lanka.
The island nation had expressed solidarity with India last week by boycotting South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit, following the lead of other countries like Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan. With Sri Lanka pulling out Pakistan was virtually isolated by its neighbours during the conflict with India.
During a press meet, Wickramasinghe told reporters that "cross-border terrorism is a big issue [in SAARC] and we have to discuss how to tackle it," attributing to the surgical strikes that India carried out against terrorist group across the LoC on September 29. He also appreciated PM Modi for all the measures he has taken to ensure peace in the subcontinent.
"Don't think war (India-Pak) is an option, your PM (PM Modi) has taken a lot of steps to defuse tensions," Wickramasinghe said.
Further ensuring Sri Lanka's camaraderie with India, Wickremesinghe confirmed that his nation is only associated with China on an economic level and not on a military one.
Delhi: Our relationship with China is an economic one, not military: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe pic.twitter.com/jLivhnBmtP
— ANI (@ANI_news) October 5, 2016