Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan extended a cordial welcome to President Wickremesinghe at the airport, accompanied by a spirited Garba performance by artists.
As the two countries celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations this year, External Affairs V Muraleedharan tweeted, "PM @narendramodi warmly welcomes President @RW_UNP of Sri Lanka at the Hyderabad House ahead of the bilateral talks. An opportunity to review and lend further momentum to the long-standing ties."
During their bilateral discussions, President Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Modi focused on promoting mutually beneficial cooperation across various sectors and strengthening connectivity between the two nations. The leaders also discussed the importance of Sri Lanka in India's neighbourhood-first policy and Vision SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region).
A joint press conference followed the talks, during which PM Modi emphasised the necessity of working together while considering each other's security interests and sensitivities.
During the joint press conference, President Wickremesinghe expressed gratitude for India's assistance during Sri Lanka's economic turmoil. New Delhi provided emergency assistance of approximately $4 billion between January and July 2022.
Wickremesinghe stated, "PM Modi and I think that building a multi-project petroleum pipeline from the southern region of India to Sri Lanka will assure an affordable and dependable supply of energy resources to Sri Lanka.”
The meeting also resulted in a notable agreement on the acceptance of the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in Sri Lanka, reflecting the global expansion of UPI. "The Agreement signed to launch UPI in Sri Lanka will increase Fintech connectivity," PM Modi said.
Moreover, the two countries announced plans to conduct feasibility studies on a petroleum line and land bridge connectivity, further bolstering economic ties.
President Wickremesinghe's visit also included a meeting with Indian President Droupadi Murmu and discussions with other Indian dignitaries, as mentioned in the Ministry of External Affairs press release.
The MEA underscored the significance of Sri Lanka as a significant partner in India's neighbourhood-first policy and Vision SAGAR, emphasising that the visit will further solidify the two nations' long-standing friendship and explore opportunities for improved connectivity and mutually advantageous cooperation across various sectors.