External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar conducted a virtual meet with the Finance Minister of Sri Lanka Basil Rajapaksa on January 15, 2022. In the meeting, both the parties shared their greetings for the New Year and also wished each other for the ongoing Pongal celebrations in India and Sri Lanka.
In order to assist Sri Lanka in its economic problems, India under the SAARC currency swap arrangement has extended its support of USD 400 million to Sri Lanka and given a deferral of ACU i.e. Asian Clearing Union settlement of USD 515.2 million by two months. The Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
Both the ministers also took a review of the progress of the financial support that has been extended by the Indian officials for importing food, important items, and medicines, and importing fuel from India. The ministry also shared the problem of Indian fishermen who have been detained in Sri Lanka. Jaishankar encouraged the government of Sri Lanka to look into the matter at the earliest and release the detained fisherman as soon as possible on humanitarian grounds.
During the meeting, Jaishankar also shared that India would like to extend its support to Sri Lanka during these difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement released by the government officials, it was mentioned that Dr. Jaishankar has expressed that India has always been supporting Sri Lanka and will continue the trend in all the possible ways in order to overcome the economic and other problems that have occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Also, the statement released by the Indian government showed how the two ministers have agreed to stay in close contact with each other for guiding mutually beneficial bilateral economic cooperation for the long-term economic partnership for shared progress and prosperity.