In the first high-level bilateral engagement in the new year, External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar will be visiting Sri Lanka from 5th to 7th January.
Amid the covid pandemic and related travel restrictions in both countries, the visit is being arranged through the air-bubble.
During his visit, Minister Jaishankar is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
This will be the first foreign visit by EAM in 2021, and also the first by a foreign dignitary to Sri Lanka in the New Year.
“As such, it signifies the priority both countries attach to strengthening their close and cordial relations in all spheres of mutual interest”, said a press release by the External Affairs Ministry.
While this official visit marks the first arrival of a high-level foreign dignitary in Sri Lanka in 2021, it becomes also the first foreign visit for External Affairs Minister Dr. Jaishankar in the New Year.
“Through high-level exchanges, both sides are looking forward to strengthen the bilateral relationship in multiple areas of cooperation,” stated a release by Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.
One of the key areas of focus during the visit could be the COVID vaccine. India has assured that it will be providing the covid vaccine to its neighbours on priority basis.
Over the weekend India’s drug regulator has given its nod to two vaccines for coronavirus, Oxford Institute’s Covishield, which is being developed by the Pune-based Serum Institute, and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The emergency approval from the country’s drug regulator came on Sunday.
EAM has been to UAE, Bahrain, Seychelles, Qatar, Iran, Russia, and Japan in the latter half of 2020 as the pandemic impacted the world.