Mahinda begins official visit to India

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in New Delhi on Friday evening on his first official visit abroad after being appointed to the office by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi at noon on Saturday while External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar will call on the visiting leader earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement, according to The Hindu newspaper.

The Prime Minister, who will receive a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, will also call on President Ram Nath Kovind, the ministry added.

Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi follows those of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in late November — when New Delhi announced a $450 million Line of Credit — and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in January.

From the Indian side, Jaishankar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval have visited Colombo after the new Government took charge in November.

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