External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar arrived in Sri Lanka on Thursday for his first visit in his second consecutive term, where he will meet with the country’s authorities to strengthen bilateral ties. Jaishankar was greeted by Tharaka Balasuriya, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Senthil Thondaman, Governor of the Eastern Province, upon his arrival in Colombo.

“I arrived in Colombo for my first visit of the new term. Thank you to Minister of State @TharakaBalasur1 and Governor of Eastern Province @S_Thondaman for the kind welcome. Look forward to my meetings with the leadership,” Jaishankar wrote on X.

Sri Lanka is essential to India’s Neighbourhood First and SAGAR policies, Jaishankar stated. Under its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India is committed to building amicable and mutually beneficial connections with all of its neighbours. SAGAR, or Security and Growth for All in the Region, embodies India’s vision and geopolitical structure for maritime partnership in the Indian Ocean region.

The trip to Sri Lanka will be Jaishankar’s first bilateral tour since becoming external affairs minister for the second time on June 11. He was part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s delegation to the G7 Outreach summit in Apulia, Italy, last week.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi, the External Affairs Minister will meet with the Sri Lankan government to discuss a number of issues.”This will be the external affairs minister’s first bilateral visit since the formation of the new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it said.

“Reaffirming India’s Neighbourhood First Policy, the visit underscores India’s ongoing commitment to Sri Lanka as its closest maritime neighbour and time-tested friend,”it said in a statement.

“The visit will add momentum to connectivity projects and other mutually beneficial partnerships across sectors,” according to the statement.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe was one of seven prominent leaders from India’s neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean area who attended Prime Minister Modi’s and the Union Council of Ministers’ swearing-in event at Rashtrapati Bhavan on June 9.

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