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Sri Lanka-India cooperation will heavily focus on connectivity, investment – Envoy

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The future bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and India will heavily focus on connectivity and investment, says Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Milinda Moragoda.

He stated this while addressing the 63rd National Defence Course at the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi, on Friday (Aug. 18) on the theme ‘Evolution of India-Sri Lanka Relation: Opportunities and Challenges.’

At the outset, Moragoda highlighted the uniqueness of India-Sri Lanka relations while drawing examples from historical ties to the present-day dynamics which involve a wide range of critical facets that define the relations between India and its closest maritime neighbour Sri Lanka.

During his interactive session, the High Commissioner focused on key thematic areas of cooperation in the fields of economy, energy, culture, defence, and regional dynamics in the Indian Ocean.

He explained how the India-Sri Lanka relations over the years have grown from a transactional phase to a special relationship and highlighted the importance of elevating the existing special relationship to a strategic level with the gradual progression of recently inked initiatives.

While thanking the Indian Government for the timely assistance rendered during the recent economic crisis,  Moragoda apprised the audience of the current status concerning Sri Lanka’s economy and the economic stabilization efforts that are underway.

He also said the future bilateral cooperation would heavily focus on connectivity and investment based on a reverberant economic integration road-map that was agreed upon by the leaders of the two countries.

The Sri Lankan envoy went on to highlight key pillars charted in the Integrated Country Strategy launched in 2021 for Sri Lanka Missions in India and its achievements.

Moragoda, emphasizing the importance of the recent official visit of Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to India, explained that the five key connectivity-focused enablers mapped in the India-Sri Lanka Economic Partnership Vision would remain the driving force in propelling the existing relations towards a new era.

Speaking on the defence cooperation, the High Commissioner thanked the Indian government for the assistance rendered in enhancing the capacities and capabilities of the Sri Lankan armed forces over the years.

He also stated that India’s security concerns in the immediate neighbourhood as well as in the Indian Ocean are Sri Lanka’s security concerns as well, and therefore, Sri Lanka pays a great deal of attention, especially to the developments that are taking place in the Indian Ocean.

The 63rd NDC course comprises 120 students representing the Indian military, Indian Civil Services, and friendly foreign countries, including two senior military officers from Sri Lanka. The NDC is dedicated to the intellectual development and strategic enculturation of selected senior officers of the armed forces and civilian government services of India and those from foreign countries, for higher leadership positions and responsibilities.

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