India discusses key bilateral issues with Sri Lanka

Colombo, Oct. 8 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa here today.

During their meeting, they discussed key bilateral issues, including that of fishermen languishing in prisons of the island nation and devolution of powers to provinces.

Khurshid on Monday said he had discussed the fishermen issue with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris and it was decided that the problem would be dealt with in a humane manner, without resorting to violence.

"We also discussed the fishermen's issue and agreed on the need to deal with it in a humane manner without resorting to violence under any circumstances," Khurshid said at a joint press conference with Peiris.

"In this regard, we agreed to encourage fishermen's associations on both sides, which had met in the past and reached some understandings, to meet again to work on developing this further," Khurshid added.

Khurshid also said that he discussed all issues of bilateral, regional and international concern with his Sri Lankan counterpart. "We had the opportunity to review progress in various areas, including trade, investment, development cooperation, culture and education," he said.

Additionally, Khurshid said that during the talks the two leaders looked at the progress made on the implementation of the Indian assisted projects for IDPs, particularly the Housing Project, as well as projects relating to the development of railway infrastructure in the North and the South.

Khurshid is scheduled to visit Jaffna to review India's development assistance projects and meet the Governor and the Chief Minister of Northern Provincial Council. By Mrityunjay Singh (ANI)

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