Lanka Foreign Minister meets PM, Khurshid

New Delhi, Aug.19 (ANI): Visiting External Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris, met the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh today and handed over a letter of invitation for the CHOGM Summit to be held in Colombo in November, 2013.

According to official sources, the Prime Minister thanked him for this gesture.

The sources further revealed that while discussing issues related to the Northern Provincial Council elections in Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister mentioned that he was happy to note of the forthcoming elections.

He said that this would promote the cause of reconciliation and he hoped that the elections would be free, fair and credible.

Prof. Peiris responded that there was a vigorous election campaign underway. There were 350 candidates from nine political parties contesting.

He assured that the elections would be conducted in a free and fair manner. He also mentioned that international observers from the Commonwealth and SAARC have been invited.

According to the sources, the Prime Minister emphasized the need for the expeditious return of Indian fishermen, as has been the process followed by both sides in the recent past.

He emphasized the need to treat this as a humanitarian issue.

The Prime Minister also stressed on the need that Sri Lanka would stand by the commitment not to dilute the 13th Amendment and would take it forward.

Subsequently, Prof. Peiris also met the External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

During the discussions in the context of the need for early release of Indian fishermen, the issue of a possible meeting between the fishermen associations of India and Sri Lanka was also considered.

According to the official sources, both the External Affairs Ministers discussed various aspects of cooperation, especially economic cooperation.

In this context, Sampur power project in Sri Lanka was also discussed. Shri Khurshid emphasized on the need for a sustained dialogue and underscored the need for "critical strategic gestures". (ANI)

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