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New Sri Lanka president Maithripala Sirisena to visit India on February 16

PTI|
Updated: Feb 01, 2015, 10.27 PM IST
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COLOMBO: Aiming to boost ties, newly-elected Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will visit India later this month, a media report said here today.

Sirisena is slated to undertake a two-day official visit to India on February 16. The dates were agreed upon during consultations between Colombo and New Delhi through diplomatic channels, the Sunday Times reported.

A reciprocal visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka is also planned from March 13-15. During his visit, plans are also underway for Modi to travel to the northern Tamil town of Jaffna, the report said.

Sirisena, who dethroned Mahinda Rajapaksa from his 10-year rule after a bitter presidential poll on January 9, has already indicated that he wants to have closer relations with India.

It could be Sirisena's first official foreign visit after assuming office.

New Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera also visited India on his first foreign trip soon after assuming charge last month during which he held talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

During Samaraweera's visit, the two countries agreed to re-engage on repatriation of refugees from India as both sides held substantive talks on a raft of crucial matters including the political reconciliation process and the sticky fishermen issue.
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