India a dependable friend, reliable partner in Sri Lanka’s economic recovery: Jaishankar

green and white leafed plantsPhnom Penh [Cambodia], August 4 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday held his first meeting with newly-appointed Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and reaffirmed India’s commitment as a dependable friend and reliable partner to the economic recovery of the island nation.

Jaishankar is in Phnom Penh to attend the ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting, an annual event that takes stock of the ASEAN-India partnership.

“A warm first meeting with FM Ali Sabry of Sri Lanka. Congratulated him on his new responsibility. Reaffirmed India’s commitment, as a dependable friend and reliable partner, to the economic recovery and well-being of Sri Lanka. Neighbourhood First,” Jaishankar tweeted.

Jaishankar has held several bilateral meetings on the margins of the ASEAN event. He had met his counterparts from Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.

“ASEAN-India Meetings provide opportunities to catch up with valued colleagues and friends. Continued conversations with FM Retno Marsudi of Indonesia, FM Dato Haji Erywan of Brunei and FM @VivianBala of Singapore,” he said.

In his meeting with Singapore foreign minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Jaishankar held a discussion on issues like Indo-Pacific, Covid-19, and Myanmar. He also promised to maintain the momentum of the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during his meeting with foreign minister Bui Thanh Son.

“A productive ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting at Phnom Penh. Thank Singapore FM @VivianBala and ASEAN colleagues for a good discussion. Strong convergence on Indo-Pacific, UNCLOS, Connectivity, Covid-19, Terrorism, Cyber Security, Ukraine and Myanmar,” the minister said.

Before meeting with Singapore FM, Jaishankar also held talks with Australia’s Penny Wong and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. With Blinken, the external affairs minister discussed India-US relationship and the global situation.

“A warm conversation to start meetings on sidelines of ASEAN Ministerial in Phnom Penh. Discussed the ever-strengthening India-US relationship and the global situation with US Secretary of State @SecBlinken,” he said.

In a statement issued by the US State Department, Blinken said that it is an opportunity for both the leaders to compare notes on areas of mutual interest including the free and open Indo-Pacific and Sri Lanka crisis.

“Taking part in the ASEAN meetings is the opportunity for us to get together and compare notes with our closest partners, starting with my longtime friend, Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar,” Blinken said in the statement. (ANI)

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