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Sri Lankan Foreign Minister calls on PM Modi

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Monday.

Samaraweera, who is on a three-day visit to India to strengthen bilateral relations, met Modi at the latter’s 7, Race Course Road official residence in New Delhi. Delegates from both sides were also present during the meeting.

On Sunday, Samaraweera met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in what was the first high-level discussion since the new government was installed in Sri Lanka under President Maithripala Sirisena. They discussed bilateral and regional issues.

Ahead of his visit, Sri Lanka released 15 Indian fishermen who had previously been held in custody, souring India-Sri Lankan relations.

Sri Lanka has also expelled the Colombo station chief of India’s spy agency in the run-up to this month’s presidential election, political and intelligence sources said, accusing him of helping the opposition oust Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman denied any expulsion and said that transfers were routine decisions.

India has often been involved in the internal politics of the small island nation off its southern coast – it sent troops there in 1987 in a botched effort to broker peace between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

President Sirisena said he will visit New Delhi next month.

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