India supported Sri Lanka’s economic recovery based on the principle of “neighbourhood first”. Said S Jaishankar, Indian Foreign Minister.
Following discussions with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in Colombo on Friday, visiting External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar remarked that India did “what is right” for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery rather than waiting for other bilateral creditors.
He continued, “India chose not to wait for others but to act according to our moral principles. To give Sri Lanka the green light to proceed, we provided the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with finance assurances, according to Mr Jaishankar.
On January 16, India issued written financing assurance to the IMF, becoming the first bilateral creditor to formally support the island nation’s essential debt-restructuring program in the wake of last year’s economic collapse. Only once China, Japan, and India, Sri Lanka’s official creditors, have given sufficient finance guarantees. The Fund’s provisional $2.9 billion package will be approved.
In 2022, Sri Lanka experienced an unprecedented financial crisis due to a significant lack of foreign exchange reserves. This led to political unrest in the country.
Sri Lanka’s foreign minister Ali Sabry expressed his “profound gratitude” for India’s “economic support” last year that “helped Sri Lanka regain some measure of economic and financial stability.” stated in a joint media briefing.
Meanwhile, Mr Jaishankar extended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to Wickremesinghe to visit India at an “early date”.