Inside & outside

Soon after tasting a massive victory in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making waves, both inside and outside the country. After forming a strong Cabinet, many key committees and taking steps to fulfil poll promises, Modi on Sunday concluded his first foreign visit following his re-election, during which he travelled to Sri Lanka and Maldives and held talks with the top leadership of the two countries.

Modi left for home after an ‘immensely fruitful’ day-long visit to Sri Lanka where he held talks with top Lankan officials and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties with the island nation, reflecting the importance India attaches to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. ‘I had a short but immensely fruitful Sri Lanka visit. Sri Lanka has a special place in our hearts. I assure my sisters and brothers of Sri Lanka that India will always be there with you and support your nation’s progress. Thank you for the memorable welcome and hospitality,’ Modi tweeted. During his Lanka visit, Prime Minister Modi visited a Catholic church bombed during the Easter suicide attacks and paid tributes to the victims of the Easter terror blasts. He held talks with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa. He also interacted with the Indian diaspora at India House in Colombo and thanked the community for coming to meet him.

‘Thank you @narendramodi, for your brief, but highly productive visit to our country today, thus proving you are a true friend of ours. I highly appreciate and value your kind gesture, support and cooperation extended to Sri Lanka,’ Sirisena tweeted. Modi arrived in Colombo from Maldives where he held wide-ranging talks with Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday. During Modi’s visit, India and Maldives signed six agreements to strengthen bilateral cooperation in key areas like defence and maritime security. Giving a push to enhance connectivity, India and Maldives also agreed to start a ferry service from Kochi in Kerala to the Maldives. Such measures are needed to strengthen India’s position in Asian region.

NT Bureau