India, Sri Lanka sign seven pacts to boost bilateral cooperation

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New Delhi, June 9 (ANI): The visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh here on Wednesday, and the duo witnessed the signing of seven pacts to boost bilateral cooperation across a range of areas, including security, energy, railways and cultural exchange.

It has been reported that Dr Singh held wide-ranging delegation-level talks with President Rajapaksa and conveyed India's concerns over the plight of displaced Tamils and pressed for a political settlement of the Tamil issue.

The visiting President assured New Delhi about Colombo's plans to quickly resettle displaced Tamils and to seek a political solution to the ethnic issue.

The two leaders also discussed a host of bilateral and global issues, including an expansion of economic ties, energy security and increased cooperation in areas of development and counter-terrorism.

Two MoUs were inked on the transfer of sentenced persons and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters that aim at enhancing counter-terror cooperation between the two countries.

A pact on laying Talaimannar-Madhu rail link was also signed. Increased development cooperation was reflected across other pacts that included an MoU on special projects and setting up of a women's trade facilitation and community learning centre by SEWA, an Ahmedabad-based NGO.

Earlier in the day, President Rajapaksa met President Preatibha Devisingh Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Rajapaksa, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday evening on a three-day visit, was given a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

President Rajapaksa is visiting India for the first time after his victory in elections held in January this year. he issue of rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced Tamils will figure prominently on his agenda with Indian leaders. (ANI)

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