Newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is here on a three-day official visit, will discuss ways of strengthening bilateral ties in key areas with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
Rajapaksa arrived in the national capital on Thursday, his first overseas trip since he took over as the island nation’s President. He was received by Union Minister VK Singh. The Sri Lankan President is leading a high-level delegation which includes Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and Treasury Secretary S R Attygalle.
On Friday, Rajapaksa will be accorded a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhawan and will lay a wreath at Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.
After holding talks at the Hyderabad House, Modi and Rajapaksa will give their press statements.
The Sri Lankan leader will meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.
He is slated to attend a programme in the city on Saturday. Later in the evening, Rajapaksa will emplane for Sri Lanka.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement, had said that the Indian government is ready to work very closely with the new government in Sri Lanka and expressed hope that it will fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil community living in the island nation.
70-year-old Rajapaksa had defeated United National Party (UNP) candidate Sajith Premadasa by more than 13 lakh votes in the recently-concluded presidential elections in Sri Lanka. He is the second member of the Rajapaksa family to become the president.
After the results of the Sri Lankan elections, Modi had congratulated Rajapaksa over the telephone on his electoral victory.
The Prime Minister, in his congratulatory message to Rajapaksa, had said that he looked forward to working closely with him for deepening the close and fraternal ties between the two countries and for peace, prosperity as well as security in the region.