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    Sri Lankan PM arrives on a three day official visit to India

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    Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day official visit to India.

    “Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives in New Delhi; he will hold talks with top leaders including PM Narendra Modi,” state broadcaster Doordarshan tweeted.

    Wickremensinghe will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi here on Wednesday, according to the External Affairs Ministry.

    His visit assumes significance as India, citing Pakistan’s sponsorship of terrorism in the region, last week pulled out of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit that was scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November.

    The Indian move came after the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers.

    Following India’s move, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan also followed suit, citing the same reason, virtually isolating Pakistan in the region.

    Sri Lanka has not pulled out but has said that a Saarc Summit would not be possible without the presence of India.

    On Wednesday, Wickremesinghe will also hold meetings with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Road Transport and Highways & Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan.

    Later in the evening, he will call on President Pranab Mukherjee.

    The Sri Lankan Prime Minister will attend the opening plenary of the India Economic Summit on Thursday along with Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman.

    Wickremesinghe will leave for Colombo on Thursday evening.

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