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Lankan Foreign Minister to visit India from May 7-9

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 04: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will arrive here on May 7 on a three-day official visit for discussions with Indian leaders on the situation and the fragile peace process in the island nation.

The visit, which is part of the high-level engagement between the two countries, will provide an opportunity to Indian leadership to get first hand knowledge of the situation in Sri Lanka, a spokesman of the External Affairs Ministry said today.

The visit comes after the fragile peace in the island nation was threatened by a terrorist attack against Sri Lankan Army Chief and reprisal air strikes by government troops against LTTE targets.

''The visit is politically important and timely and comes at a time when the peace process is delicately poised. It is an opportunity for Indian leaders to get first-hand assessment of the situation in Sri Lanka,'' the spokesman said.

Mr Samaraweera will be accompanied by his Foreign Secretary and Finance Secretary and other senior officials. He will meet Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran and National Security Advisor (NSA) M K Narayanan.

He is also expected to call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Replying to a question on defence cooperation between India and Sri Lanka, the spokesman said India's involvement in Sri Lankan defence matters is in training aspects and exchange of visits by the Chiefs of their respective armed forces.

He did not elaborate.

UNI

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