External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has gone to Sri Lanka to hold bilateral talks with its top leadership and attend the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) summit. The BIMSTEC summit includes countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Jaishankar arrived after concluding his visit to the Maldives, in which he held discussions with the country’s top leadership on wide-ranging issues related to bilateral cooperation.
PM Narendra Modi will also attend the virtual summit of the BIMSTEC on March 30, which will focus on expanding economic engagement among its member countries. The summit comes when Sri Lanka is facing its worst foreign exchange crisis after the pandemic hit the nation’s earnings from tourism and remittances. India has provided economic relief package, which includes $400 million currency swaps, $500 million for fuel purchase, $1 billion for food and essentials and deferment of Asian Currency Unit payments of over $500 million.