The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, received His Excellency Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (November 29, 2019). He also hosted a banquet in his honour.
Welcoming President Rajapaksa on his first State Visit to India, the President said that as close neighbours our growth and progress are tied together. We both have a common stake in the peace and prosperity of our neighbourhood. Our bilateral relationship has its own standing and footing, and we must make progress in that manner. We should strengthen our cooperation in all fields to promote shared security and development of both the countries and our region. Our close relationship should be built upon our common aspirations, our shared commitment to work together and our mutual sensitivity to each other’s concerns.
The President said that India has always been keen to strengthen the economic pillar of our bilateral relationship and promote greater trade and investment links between India and Sri Lanka. India wants Sri Lanka to be part of its growth story. There is a lot that can be achieved, given the synergies between our economies.
The President said that development cooperation is an important pillar of India-Sri Lanka ties. India is happy that its engagement with Sri Lanka in this regard has brought tangible benefits to the people. India is ready to undertake more projects of mutual interest, as per Sri Lanka’s own requirements and priorities.
Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Kovind said that India attaches the highest importance to its relationship with Sri Lanka. We wish to see a stable, prosperous and peaceful Sri Lanka, wherein the aspirations of all her people are fulfilled. Inclusivity and respect for diversity are the strength of our shared democratic values. Our government’s vision of inclusive development, that is ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas’ also extends to our neighbourhood.
The President said that our shared heritage is deep and abiding. We need to find innovative ways to further cement our multi-faceted ties for the mutual benefit of our peoples. We deeply appreciate Sri Lankan government’s resolve to work closely with us to ensure stability and security in our region.