Krishna hopeful about taking India-Sri Lanka bilateral talks forward

Onboard Special Aircraft, Nov.25 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Thursday said that he was looking forward to his four-day visit to Sri Lanka and expressed hope about taking bilateral ties between the countries forward.

Speaking to ANI TV shortly before landing in Colombo, Krishna said: "I am on my way to Sri Lanka with which India has traditional relationship. I am going to a country with which we had political, social and other linkages over a period of time and am hopeful that my visit to Sri Lanka will be to strengthen those bilateral links between the two countries"

Krishna and his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peris will lead their respective delegations at a joint commission meeting on Friday, which will review progress of bilateral projects.

Krishna is also scheduled to call on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne.

Sources said Krishna's visit would focus on the early rehabilitation of nearly three lakh displaced Tamil civilians and a political solution for the resolution of the ethnic issue.

Krishna will visit Hambantota on Friday, where he would be inaugurating the new Consulate General of India.

Krishna will leave for Jaffna on November 27, where he would first inaugurate the new Consulate General of India in Jaffna and then participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the pilot project to construct 1,000 housing units.

Krishna's visit comes over five months after President Rajapaksa's state visit to India in June 2010. Then, a Joint Declaration was adopted, outlining a roadmap for infusing greater vigour, greater content in the India-Sri Lanka relationship.

It was decided during President Rajapaksa's visit that India would be constructing 50,000 housing units for IDPs.

Krishna will also visit Medawachchiya on November 27 to inaugurate a railway project.

Krishna would return to New Delhi on November 28. (ANI)

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