Sri Lanka sent lower level minister to welcome Indian FM

India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar has arrived in Sri Lanka this evening (10), to attend the 23rd Council of Ministers’ meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), which will be hosted by Sri Lanka from Wednesday (11).

On arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake, the Indian foreign minister was welcomed by Sri Lanka’s State Minister for Higher Education, Dr. Suren Raghavan and the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, Gopal Baglay.

“Glad to be back in Colombo. Thank Dr. Suren Raghavan, State Minister for Higher Education for welcoming me,” he posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday (10).

Jaishankar said he will be attending the 23rd IORA Council of Ministers’ meeting. “India-Sri Lanka relationship continues to progress,” he added.

This is Jaishankar’s second visit to Sri Lanka this year and it comes two months after Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe travelled to India in July to bolster relations between the two sides.

Besides the IORA engagements, Jaishankar will have bilateral meetings in Colombo, Indian media reported.

The Council of Ministers meeting in Colombo will see the participation of sixteen Ministers including the Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, India, Iran, Mauritius, Malaysia and South Africa as well as Ministerial and senior level participation from Australia, Comoros, France, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Tanzania, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen (member countries) and from China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Türkiye, United Kingdom and United States of America (dialogue partners), according to the President’s Media Division (PMD).

The Council of Ministers is the highest decision making body of the IORA.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry will chair the Council when the current Chair, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh will hand over the chairmanship to the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka

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