External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S Jaishankar called Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, today, to congratulate him on his reappointment as Minister of Foreign Relations of Sri Lanka. Dr. S Jaishankar conveyed that he looks forward to working closely with Minister Gunawardena to take India- Sri Lanka partnership to greater heights as part of India’s neighbourhood first policy.
Immediately after Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena assumed charge of his duties yesterday, High Commissioner of India H.E. Gopal Baglay paid a courtesy call on the Minister. High Commissioner Baglay handed over a Letter of Congratulation from Dr. S Jaishankar and noted that the strong mandate received by the Sri Lankan Government in recent elections would play a key role in strengthening the commitment by both the countries to take the bilateral relationship forward.
During the meeting, Minister Gunawardena noted that it was important for India and Sri Lanka to pursue close cooperation in post COVID scenario and expressed hope to expand travel and tourism between the two countries in a limited manner.
Both sides also discussed closer cooperation in the expansion of Buddhist linkages. Minister Gunawardena welcomed the decision of Indian Government to convert Kushinagar Airport as an International airport for ease of travel for Buddhist pilgrims. High Commissioner Baglay and Minister Gunwardena also discussed other issues of regional and international interest to both the countries.
Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had undertaken his first official visit to India in January 2020 during his last term, at the invitation of the Minister of External Affairs of India.