New Delhi [India], September 25 (ANI): The meeting of Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 26 will be his first diplomatic engagement with a leader of a foreign country after being sworn in on August 9.
Speaking during a weekly press briefing, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "The Virtual Bilateral Summit will be Prime Minister Modi's first such virtual engagement with a neighbouring country and also Prime Minister Rajapaksa's first diplomatic engagement with a leader of a foreign country after he was sworn in as PM on August 9."
He said that PM Modi has maintained regular interaction with both the President and Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
"The Virtual Bilateral Summit is preceded by the State visits of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to India in November 2019 and February 2020 respectively," the spokesperson said.
He further said, "The leaders have had several telephonic conversations till now including in the context of cooperation to tackle the health and economic impact of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic."
The MEA spokesperson said that the virtual bilateral summit "will give an opportunity to the two leaders to comprehensively review the broad framework of the bilateral relationship in the context of the time-tested friendly ties between the two countries".
"A Virtual Bilateral Summit under challenging circumstances due to COVID-19 testifies the deep-rooted civilisational ties and shared heritage between the two neighbouring countries. This is also a reflection of India's 'Neighbourhood First' approach and SAGAR doctrine," Srivastava added. (ANI)