Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations of Sri Lanka, Dinesh Gunawardena, is on an official visit to India from 08-10 January 2020. This is the first overseas visit of the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister after assuming charge in November 2019. He is accompanied by a 4-member official delegation.
The visit of Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena is in continuation of and as a follow up to the recent visit of President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, to India in November 2019.
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar hosted the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka for delegation level talks on 09 January 2020, followed by a working lunch for the visiting delegation. Both Ministers discussed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and explored ways to further strengthen the close and friendly ties between India and Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister reiterated the importance laid by President Rajapaksa on exploring newer areas of cooperation with India with emphasis on skill development, vocational training and capacity building and requested India’s support. External Affairs Minister assured full support to such initiatives on the basis of the recognized strength of India’s institutions in these areas and based on Sri Lanka’s requirements. The two Ministers also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, including climate change and counter terrorism.
During the visit, the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister also met Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Mahendra Nath Pandey, and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar.