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Sir Lankan Prez Maithripala Sirisena to visit India from Feb 15

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New Delhi (Feb. 05, 2015): In his first foreign visit after assuming charge, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will arrive in India on February 15 on a four-day visit during which he will meet Prime Minister Modi and discuss key issues including peace and reconciliation process in his country.

All bilateral matters including economy, peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka apart from the perennial issues will be discussed during the meeting between the two leaders, the Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi.

India has been hoping that the new government will develop Lanka on the “foundation of genuine and effective reconciliation” creating harmony between all sections there.”

Prime Minister Modi had yesterday tweeted that he was looking forward to the visit of President Sirisena to India.

According to Sirisena’s office, the President will leave on February 15 and will remain in India until February 18.

The 63-year-old leader will also travel to Buddhist pilgrimage site Bodh Gaya and Hindu temple in Tirupathi before returning to Sri Lanka, the statement said.

Sirisena, who dethroned Mahinda Rajapaksa after a bitter presidential poll on January 9, has indicated that he wants to have closer relations with India.

He will also meet with President Pranab Mukherjee and other party leaders.

In his address on the Sri Lanka’s 67th anniversary of independence, Sirisena yesterday said that his government would pursue a foreign policy of neutrality to win over the international community to develop the island.

His predecessor Rajapaksa’s administration had a record of soured ties with India, which had supported US- backed UN Human Rights Council resolutions against Sri Lanka.