On Saturday, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held a virtual meeting with Sri Lankan Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa. This interaction follows Rajapaksa’s visit to India last month.

The two ministers noted positively the $400 million extension to Sri Lanka under the SAARC Currency Swap Agreement and the postponement of the $515.2 million ACU settlement from two months, which would help Sri Lanka.

The two ministers reviewed progress made in extending India’s $1 billion credit facility for importing food, essential items and medicine and $500 million for importing of fuel from India.

The Lankan minister hailed Indian investments in Sri Lanka in a number of important areas including ports, infrastructure, energy, renewables, power and manufacturing and assured that an enabling environment will be provided to encourage these investments.

“Jaishankar indicated that India has always supported Sri Lanka and will continue to support Sri Lanka in every possible way to overcome the economic and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As close friends and neighbors maritime borders, India and Sri Lanka stand to benefit from closer economic ties,” according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.

Rajapaksa recalled India’s longstanding cooperation with Sri Lanka and deeply appreciated the gestures of support. In this context, the two ministers noted that the recent steps taken by Lanka to jointly upgrade Trincomalee oil parks will boost investor confidence, in addition to bolstering Sri Lanka’s energy security.

Jaishankar raised the issue of Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka. He urged the Sri Lankan government to ensure the speedy release of fishermen detained on humanitarian grounds.