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Jaishankar’s Colombo Visit Reinforces India’s Neighbourhood First Approach: Baglay
NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo last week sent out a clear and strong message to Sri Lanka and to the world at a time the island nation is reeling under a severe economic crisis, says India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay. Sri Lanka has already approached the International Monetary FunD (IMF) for a bailout package but for that to happen, all bilateral creditors of Sri Lanka will have to give financing assurances to the IMF. Last week India became the first major creditor to give this assurance in writing to the IMF. “Demonstrating its Neighbourhood First policy, India decided not to wait for others but be the first responder that it has been to help Sri Lanka. And Dr Jaishankar’s visit to Colombo sent out the message that India stands with the people of Sri Lanka,” High Commissioner Baglay told StratNews Global Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale on ‘The Gist’. He also spoke about how India is keen on facilitating investment in Sri Lanka in sectors such as ports and shipping, renewable energy, manufacturing in pharma and automobiles, agriculture and dairy. One requirement is that all creditors have to give financing assuarances to the IMF country is in talks with the IMF to secure a US$ 2.9 billion bridge loan. For that, it is negotiating to get financial assurances from its major creditors — China, Japan and India – which is the requisite for Colombo to get the bailout package