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India’s FM calls on President Ranil

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on January 20 called on Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and discussed the progress of bilateral initiatives.

Mr. Jaishankar is in the Ugandan capital city of Kampala to represent India at the two-day summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which began on Friday.

“Pleased to call on Sri Lankan President @RW_UNP on the sidelines of the NAM Summit in Kampala,” Mr. Jaishankar posted on X.

“Appreciate his continued guidance for the advancement of our bilateral initiatives. India’s commitment is reflected in our Neighbourhood First and SAGAR policy,” he said.

India’s Neighbourhood First policy guides its approach towards the management of relations with countries in its immediate neighbourhood. It is aimed at enhancing physical, digital and people-to-people connectivity across the region, as well as augmenting trade and commerce.

Sri Lanka was hit by a catastrophic financial crisis in 2022, the worst since its independence from Britain in 1948, due to a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves.

As the country struggled, locked in the throes of the crisis, India extended multi-pronged assistance of about USD 4 billion to it through multiple credit lines and currency support in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) is India’s policy or doctrine of maritime cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Jaishankar met his Ugandan counterpart Gen JeJe Odongo.

“Delighted to begin the day with my dear friend @GenJejeOdongo. Thanked him for the excellent arrangements for the NAM Summit. Assured India’s wholehearted support for Uganda’s Chairship,” Mr. Jaishankar said on X.

“Noted the progress in our bilateral cooperation since my April 2023 visit. Direct flights, training & exchanges and commencement of the NFSU campus are among notable developments,” he added.

Mr. Jaishankar on Friday held a series of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Bahrain, Serbia, Bolivia, Azerbaijan and Venezuela during which he discussed bilateral ties, as well as regional and global issues.

 The Hindu

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