Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to discuss several issues of mutual interest. Wickremesinghe who is on a three-day visit will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.
Wickramasingh visit has come at a time when Sri Lanka along with other member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) backed out of the Summit scheduled in Islamabad condemning terrorism in the region.
The SAARC summit, scheduled in Islamabad on November 9-10, was called off following the terror attack on an army base in Uri on September 18 by Pakistan-based terrorists.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and some other diplomats will also meet the visiting dignitary. The Sri Lankan Prime Minister will address the opening plenary of the India Economic Summit in New Delhi Thursday.
World Economic Forum is hosting the annual summit which is expected to be attended by various business and political leaders including top policymakers and CEOs.
On Tuesday, speaking at the New Zealand Parliament House, Wickramasinghe said that after the failure of SAARC to deliver “acceptable results” for all members it would compel Sri Lanka to find other “viable options”.
“This year’s SAARC Summit is in jeopardy due to the war prevailing on the border. However, as the SAARC plays an important role, carrying out the Summit is a matter of great importance. I explained that while the failure of SAARC to deliver acceptable results for all members would spell out a bleak future, it would also compel Sri Lanka to look towards other viable options,” Wickramasinghe said in his speech in New Zealand.
According to various media reports, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, two months after she fell ill, will make first public engagement on Wednesday meeting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe in New Delhi. The 69-year-old Congress president had suddenly taken ill on August 2 during her roadshow in Varanasi.