Sri Lanka will accept India's Air Defence System- Kadirgamar

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 June 2005, 10:41 GMT]
"[India's Air Defence system] is very much under discussion. We will accept it. We are looking into means how it could be done," said Minister Kadirgamar at the joint press briefing at the Foreign Ministry office in Colombo Friday. Mr Natwar Singh, India's Foreign Minister concurred "Defence cooperation agreement is in the process of being finalised, we are going through some procedures." Senior Foreign Ministry officials of both countries were present at the briefing which was held soon after the 6th session of the Sri Lanka -India Joint Commission in Colombo.

The Sri lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar also said that Sri Lanka would accept the Aerial defence system for Sri Lanka once India finalises the radar and other hi-tech arrangements.

Mr.Natwar Singh further added that India was planning to train 450 Sri lankan police personnel in India and noted that regular exchange of visits by senior defence and security officials between the two countries have contributed to the enhanced cooperation with regard to the security issues both countries.

Answering a question on the Joint Mechanism issue in Sri Lanka Mr.Natwar Singh said that it was entirely an internal issue and urged for for a negotiated politcal settlement for Sri lanka's ethnic crisis.

Natwar Singh reiterated that India would always support to Sri Lanka's sovereignty and territorial intergrity, and will promote democratic governance in Sri Lanka.

Both sides also agreed on the restoration of the ancient Thiruketheeswaram temple in Mannar and upgrading the hospitals in Trincomalee, Jaffna and Point Pedro.

Mr.Natwar Singh prior to the Indo-lanka Joint Commision meeting called on President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. He also met the Oposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

 

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