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Sushma Swaraj on Lanka visit from today

Sushma Swaraj on Lanka visit from today
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will undertake a two-day visit to Colombo on Friday to set the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka, the first bilateral visit to the country by an Indian Prime Minister in over 25 years.

During her two-day stay, Swaraj will call on Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and hold talks with her counterpart Mangala Samaraweera.

She is also expected to call on President Maithripala Sirisena, seen as a precursor to the visit by Modi on March 13.

This is Modi’s first visit to Sri Lanka during which he is likely to travel to war-ravaged Jaffna in Tamil-dominated Northern Province and Trincomalee in the Eastern Province.

He is scheduled to travel to Jaffna, Anuradhapura and Kandy, Sri Lankan media reports have said
citing presidential secretariat sources.

Modi’s visit will be a return for Sirisena’s visit here last month that saw the two countries sign a civil nuclear pact.

It was Sirisena’s first overseas visit since becoming the president in January.

India-Sri Lanka relations had seen tensions during last few years of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was voted out of power, as China had expanded its footprint in the country by building ports, highways and participating in other infrastructure projects.

Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister since Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 to visit the island.
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