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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, shakes hand with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe before a meeting in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Wickremesinghe is on a three-day official visit to India. (AP Photo)

PM Modi, Wickremesinghe hold talks, discuss India-assisted development projects in Lanka

NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday and discussed a range of issues related to bilateral ties, including the progress of India-assisted development projects in the island nation.

The two leaders held talks at the Hyderabad House here on the third day and final day of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s India visit.

“Special place in our hearts for Sri Lanka. PM Narendra Modi welcomes the Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. At the delegation level talks, the leaders took stock of the entire range of our bilateral relations, specially the development projects in Sri Lanka,” Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders at the Hyderabad House.

During the visit, the two sides reviewed the status of the India-assisted housing projects in Jaffna. They were also expected to deliberate on the Tamil issue — the reconciliation process and devolution of powers in Tamil-dominated areas.

Wickremesinghe’s India visit comes in the backdrop of controversial media reports that Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has accused Indian intelligence agency RAW of plotting his assassination, a claim firmly rejected as “false” by Colombo.

Earlier in the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also separately called on the visiting Lankan leader.

Wickremesinghe and Singh discussed issues related to security and anti-terror cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

In her meeting with the Lankan premier, Swaraj also reviewed the progress of India-assisted development projects in the island nation.

Wickremesinghe arrived here on Thursday on a three-day visit to boost ties in a range of areas, including trade, investment and maritime security.

On Friday, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi met Wickremesinghe and discussed cooperation between the two countries.

(PTI)

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