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Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to visit India from May 6-9

By Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera will arrive here tomorrow 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.

''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 who arrives here tomorrow evening, will have private engagements on May 7.

Official engagements are scheduled for May 8 and 9.

On May eight, he will call on Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh and have discusions on bilaearal issues and the regional and international situation.

He will also meet Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Commerce and Industries Minister Kamal Nath and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and former External Affairs Minster Jaswant Singh.

The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister will also attend a function organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

On May nine, Mr Samaraweera will have a meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.

This will be followed by a call on by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran.

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

UNI RB VD KN1930

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