External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S Jaishankar called Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday to  congratulate him on his reappointment to the post  and said he looks forward to working closely with Minister Gunawardena to take India- Sri Lanka partnership to greater heights as part of India’s neighborhood first policy.

Soon after Minister Gunawardena assumed his duties on Monday, Indian High Commissioner  Gopal Baglay paid a courtesy call on him.

High Commissioner Baglay handed over a Letter of Congratulation from Dr. S Jaishankar and noted that the strong mandate received by the Sri Lankan Government in recent elections would play a key role in strengthening the commitment by both the countries to take the bilateral relationship forward.

During the meeting, Minister Gunawardena noted that it was important for India and Sri Lanka to pursue close cooperation in post COVID scenario and expressed hope to expand travel and tourism between the two countries in a limited manner, the Indian High Commission said in a press release.

Both sides also discussed closer cooperation in the expansion of Buddhist linkages. Minister Gunawardena welcomed the decision of Indian Government to convert Kushinagar Airport as an International airport for ease of travel for Buddhist pilgrims.

High Commissioner Baglay and Minister Gunwardena also discussed other issues of regional and international interest to both the countries.

Minister Dinesh Gunawardena undertook his first official visit to India in January 2020 during his last term, at the invitation of the Minister of External Affairs of India.

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay with Minister Gunawardena