Colombo: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today held a meeting with former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and discussed the challenges faced by the island nation and India's "strong support" in this hour of need. During the meeting, Rajapaksa thanked India for its "steadfast commitment" to assisting Sri Lanka during troubled times.

Jaishankar tweeted, "Called on former President @PresRajapaksa today. Discussed the current challenges faced by Sri Lanka and India's strong support in this hour of need." Notably, Rajapaksa resigned in May last year after protests erupted against the Sri Lankan government.

Sharing details regarding the meeting, Mahinda Rajapaksa tweeted, "Had successful discussions with India's External Affairs Min. @DrSJaishankar & discussed a range of issues of mutual interest. Also thanked the Indian govt. for it's steadfast commitment in assisting #SriLanka during its troubled times & the strong ties shared between India and Sri Lanka."

Jaishankar, who is on an official visit to Sri Lanka also met Sri Lankan Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and discussed cooperation on fisheries. He tweeted, "Met this afternoon with @DouglasDevanan1, Minister of Fisheries. Discussed cooperation on fisheries and stressed working together and humanitarian approach."

EAM Jaishankar met with the business community of Sri Lanka and discussed the importance of economic growth as a solution to address current challenges. "Interacted with the Business community of Sri Lanka. Discussed the importance of economic growth as a solution to the current challenges. Spoke about creating a more investment-friendly environment," Jaishankar wrote in a tweet.

In another tweet, Jaishankar stated, "Happy to symbolically handover buses to Lanka Ashok Leyland to Minister of Transport, Bandula Gunawardane. This is part of 500 such buses that are being supplied to Sri Lanka Transport Board with Indian support."

During his visit, Jaishankar also held a meeting with opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and discussed views about bilateral relations. He tweeted, "Nice to meet leader of opposition @sajithpremadasa. Exchanged views about our bilateral ties."

Earlier in the day, S Jaishankar held a meeting with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo and discussed bilateral cooperation, including transport and education.

Jaishankar tweeted, "Pleased to meet Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo today. Discussed our bilateral cooperation including in transport and education. Also exchanged views on intensifying people-to-people relations."