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Colombo, Jun 23 (PTI) Four senior Indian government officials, including Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, arrived here on Thursday to meet Sri Lanka’s top leadership and assess the economic crisis.

During their visit, the delegation held discussions with the top leadership including Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

During the meeting, Kwatra told Rajapaksa that as a close friend, India would give all assistance to Sri Lanka to overcome difficult times.

During this, the delegation said that India is ready to help to bring the economy of the neighboring country back on track. In this sequence, emphasis was placed on promoting investment and connectivity, and strengthening economic ties.

Indian High Commission officials said Foreign Secretary Kwatra led the delegation, which includes Chief Economic Adviser Dr V Ananth Nageswaran, Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth and Additional Secretary External Affairs Kartik Pandey.

During their visit, the Indian delegation sought to assess the financial position of Sri Lanka and understand whether there is a need to provide another installment of financial assistance to the country.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, due to which there has been an acute shortage of essential commodities like food, medicine, cooking gas and fuel. Sri Lanka’s total external debt is $51 billion.

According to media reports, the visit was decided after the meetings of Sri Lankan envoy Milinda Moragoda with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on June 20.

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