India, Lanka ink civil nuclear pact, agree to expand def ties

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New Delhi: Taking the tie to a whole new level. India and Sri Lanka inked a new nuclear pact beside defense and security co-operation. and This was announced after the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena during which both the leaders expressed commitment to find a solution to the emotive fishermen issue by adopting a constructive and humanitarian approach. “The bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is yet another demonstration of our mutual trust. This is the first such agreement Sri Lanka has signed. It opens new avenues for cooperation, including in areas like agriculture and healthcare,” Modi said in a joint press interaction with Sirisena in New Delhi on Monday.

Sirisena, who arrived in Delhi on Sunday, has chosen India for his first foreign trip after assuming charge of the country. He had dethroned Mahinda Rajapaksa from his 10-year rule after a bitter Presidential poll. The nuclear pact would facilitate cooperation in the transfer and exchange of knowledge and expertise, sharing of resources, capacity building and training of personnel in peaceful uses of nuclear energy, including use of radioisotopes, nuclear safety, radiation safety and nuclear security.

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The two countries also signed three other pacts, including cooperation in the field of agriculture. Another MoU was signed to enable Sri Lanka to participate in the Nalanda University Project. The Prime Minister said he and the Sri Lankan leader also agreed to expand the defence and security cooperation. “We welcomed the progress in our maritime security cooperation, including in the trilateral format with the Maldives,” he said. Modi said he believed that destinies of both the countries are “inter-linked” and that “our security and prosperity are indivisible”.Modi said they had excellent discussions on bilateral relations and international issues and added that India was honoured that Sirisena had chosen the country for his first overseas destination after assuming charge.

News source: PIB

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