India looking forward to President Sirisena’s visit from 15-18 February

Saturday, 7 February 2015 00:36 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

New Delhi: Indian Government yesterday said the forthcoming State visit of President Maithripala Sirisena from 15 to 18 February would strengthen India’s” warm and friendly” ties to Sri Lanka. The Spokesperson of India’s External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin said the President Sirisena had a talk with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and indicated his desire to undertake an early visit to India. This is President Sirisena’s first visit outside of Sri Lanka. Path to his visit was paved during the early discussions between Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Sri Lankan counterpart Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who visited New Delhi on 18 January as his first outside visit after assuming the post. In accordance with the usual practice for state visits, the President will be given a ceremonial welcome by the Indian President at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He will have meetings with the leadership and will be hosted for a State banquet at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the spokesperson said. “As a close and friendly neighbour, India looks forward to engage closely with the Sri Lankan President across the spectrum of issues and we hope this will strengthen the warm and friendly ties to Sri Lanka,” the spokesperson said. After the official discussions on 16 February, Sirisena is expected to undertake visits to places of religious importance outside New Delhi.