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Rajapaksa meets PM, discusses bilateral ties

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday met Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and pressed him for an early solution to the decades-long ethnic issue and stressed on the need to fast-track rehabilitation of displaced Tamils.

Rajapaksa called on President Mukherjee and later met the PM to discuss various issues that impinge on bilateral relations.

‘Both the meetings consisted of discussions in a restricted format, followed by meetings along with delegations. Each of the two meetings lasted more than 40 minutes each,’ said official sources.

‘The meetings provided an opportunity to comprehensively review all matters of mutual interest. This was the first detailed discussion of all substantive issues since June 2010,’ said the sources.

During the talks, the Sri Lankan side updated the Indian side on its efforts for the rehabilitation of war-displaced Tamils in the island nation.

Rajapaksa is understood to have assured India that his government was doing all it can to speed up a lasting solution to the ethnic issue, said informed sources.

Rajapaksa began a three-day visit to India Wednesday night. He has been invited by the Madhya Pradesh government for the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the University of Buddhist and Indic Studies in Sanchi.
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