Tilak Marapana arrives here on Friday on his first overseas trip as Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs—-a tradition for some years now.
He will be accompanied by Foreign Secretary Prasad Kariyawasam, who was Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India before going to the United States as Ambassador. Interestingly, this also happens to be his first overseas visit since assuming office on August 15.
Marapana is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, hold talks with his his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, and a few other ministers and officials.
Asked about the agenda for the visit, a top diplomat in Colombo told the Sunday Island: “Sri Lanka’s relations with our giant neighbor India have never been better in a long while. Inter-personal relations between our leaders are excellent. So, when they meet, they discuss everything under the sun!”
Mrs Sushma Swaraj was in Colombo last week to attend the second Indian Ocean Conference. She met President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Tilak Marapana and discussed key aspects of bilateral cooperation.
The conference was jointly organised by the India Foundation, the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, and the National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS), Colombo.