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New Delhi: Indian envoy to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay said on Friday that India has come with the aid and assistance of Sri Lanka, while Sri Lanka is at the confluence of India’s three foreign policy principles – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, Sagar and Neighborhood Policy. He further reiterated that India and Sri Lanka are in close contact and discussing the post-COVID economic recovery of the island nation.

Addressing a virtual briefing, Baglay said, “When India suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, prayers were offered to Sri Lanka. When Sri Lanka faced this virus, India helped them with medicines and other essentials. We are in close contact with the Government of Sri Lanka for post-Covid economic recovery and discussions are on.”

Responding to a question from the media about China’s debt creating problems in the country, Baglay said, “Cannot comment on Sri Lanka’s relations with other countries. Sri Lanka will have to see how relations with the countries affect them.”

He further adds that the first consignment of rice from India will reach Sri Lanka by the end of this week. The first order is for 40,000 metric tonnes of rice and the consignment is under a $1 billion line of credit. The island nation is facing a severe economic crisis from lack of food and fuel. India has come to the rescue of the island nation as a part of its neighborhood first policy. Recently, India also announced a $1 billion loan to Sri Lanka to help boost the economy.

On Wednesday, a consignment each of 36,000 metric tonnes of petrol and 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel was delivered to Sri Lanka in the last 24 hours. The total supply of various types of fuel under Indian assistance now exceeds 270,000 metric tonnes.

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