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India has noted the clear declaration of the India first security policy by Sri Lanka, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said yesterday.

In his address at the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka India Society in Colombo, Indian Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob positively assessed the strong engagement between India and Sri Lanka during the past year including in the context of mutual support in dealing with Covid related challenges.

He recalled the smooth coordination in facilitating evacuation flights for stranded nationals in each other’s country. The strong support given by the Government of Sri Lanka in repatriation of nearly 700 stranded Indian nationals on board INS Jalashwa in early June was particularly noteworthy.

Deputy High Commissioner Jacob observed that both sides are working towards revitalizing the economic engagement and people to people links. He highlighted the on going cooperation in the defence and security fields. Recently, the close cooperation between the Sri Lankan and Indian forces ensured that the fire on the MT New Diamond was successfully controlled and the ship stabilised.

Deputy High Commissioner Jacob said that it was encouraging to note the clear declaration of India First Security policy by Sri Lankan government and expressed the view that it reflected a fair assessment of the current state of security cooperation between India and Sri Lanka.

Recalling that the India Sri Lanka development cooperation partnership had concluded it’s fifteenth anniversary, Deputy High Commissioner Jacob noted that the overall portfolio currently stood at close to USD 3.45 billion.

He also expressed confidence that India could be a reliable partner for Sri Lanka in attaining post millennium energy security through cooperation in both traditional and renewable forms of energy.