Want to take ties with India to very high level: Gotabaya Rajapaksa
New Delhi, Nov 29: Newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa arrived in Delhi on a three-day visit, signalling his intent to deepen bilateral ties with India.
The Sri Lankan leader was given a ceremonial welcome in the morning at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were present on the occasion.
"During my tenure as President, I want to take Sri Lanka-India relationship to a higher level. The two countries have a long-standing friendship. We need to work together for economic development and security of our people," said Gotabaya after the ceremonial welcome.
He will hold extensive talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on deepening further expanding ties between the two countries.
The meeting will focus on issues including fulfilling aspirations of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, the situation in the Indian Ocean region and steps to boost trade and investment ties are likely to figure in the talks.
Soon after his swearing-in ceremony on Sunday, India extended an invite to new Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during a courtesy call by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar travelled to Colombo last week as a special envoy of Modi to convey his greetings to Rajapaksa.
India has said it was looking forward to working closely with the new Sri Lankan government and hoped that it would be able to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamil community in that country.