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Indian govt supportive of Sri Lanka, trying to help it: S Jaishankar

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Thiruvananthapuram, July 10: The Indian government has always been supportive of Sri Lanka and it was "trying to help" the neighbouring country through its present economic crisis, said Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday. The minister made it clear that there was "no refugee crisis right now".

S Jaishankar

Speaking to reporters outside the Thiruvananthapuram airport after arriving in the state capital on a three-day visit, Jaishankar said, "We have been very supportive of Sri Lanka. We are trying to help and we are always very helpful where they are concerned. "They are right now working through their problems, so we have to wait and see what they do."

He was responding to a query on India's stand on the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. On being asked whether there was any refugee crisis, the Union Minister said, "There is no refugee crisis right now."

Jaishankar was also asked by reporters the reason for his visit to which he replied that there were several. He said he wanted to spend time with his party colleagues here and understand how they are doing and what is happening here.

Asked how he sees BJP prospects in the southern state, the Union Minister responded that prospects of the party were "very good" all over the country. "There is no exception to it anywhere. But we will always try and keep working to improve the prospects," he added.

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials.

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