Jaishankar arrives in Colombo to attend 23rd Council of Ministers Meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association

S Jaishankar
Image Source : X/DRSJAISHANKAR External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was welcomed by Sri Lankan minister Suren Raghavan at the Colombo Airport.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday reached Colombo to attend the crucial 23rd Council of Ministers Meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday (October 11) during which India would assume the role of Vice-Chair of the regional forum. 

Upon his arrival at the Colombo Airport, Jaishankar was received by Sri Lankan minister Suren Raghavan. “Glad to be back in Colombo. Thank Dr. Suren Raghavan, State Minister for Higher Education for welcoming me,” Jaishankar posted on ‘X’.

Council of Ministers Meeting

India will assume the Vice-Chair role of IORA for 2023-25 at this crucial meeting, leading to Chairship in 2025-27. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will assume the chairmanship of IORA for the period 2023 to 2025 at this meeting.

“The Council of Ministers Meeting (COM) will review IORA’s recent activities and outline future cooperation,” said a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs. The Council of Ministers is the highest decision-making body of IORA, the largest and pre-eminent organisation in the Indian Ocean Region with 23 members and 10 dialogue partners.

How many nations to attend the meeting?

Jaishankar is among the 16 ministers to attend the October 11 meeting which will also include the foreign ministers of Bangladesh, Iran, Mauritius, Malaysia and South Africa. “The ministers will deliberate on ways to cooperate on the six priority areas, including trade and investment; maritime safety and security; fisheries management; disaster risk management; and blue economy,” the MEA statement said. Besides IORA engagements, Jaishankar will have bilateral meetings in Colombo, it added.

During his earlier visit to Colombo in January this year, Jaishankar held meetings with Lanka’s top leadership and discussed the whole range of close bilateral partnerships as well as ways to strengthen them in all areas.

India-Sri Lanka relations

The relationship between the two countries has been marked by close contacts at the highest political level, growing trade and investment, cooperation in the fields of development, education, culture and defence, as well as a broad understanding of major issues of international interest. India has emerged as the foremost partner for Sri Lanka in the endeavour to revitalize its economy, reform its bureaucracy, and enhance decision-making processes for future economic collaborations. Both countries have reached an agreement to strengthen their economic and energy ties, signalling a new phase of cooperation and mutual benefits.

(With inputs from PTI)

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