Press Trust of india

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat calls on Sri Lankan Prez

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Colombo, May 18 :  Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today called on Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed bilateral and defence relations during his maiden visit to the island country, officials said.

Gen Rawat is in Sri Lanka for a week-long visit at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake.

His visit as the Army Chief began on Monday with an aim to take forward the military cooperation between the two countries to the “next level”.

Gen Rawat and Sirisena discussed the importance of the well established bilateral relations between the two nations, the president’s office said.

He earlier met Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Indian Army has said that the focus of the visit would be to take forward the military-to-military cooperation between the two countries to the “next level”.

In December last, Sri Lanka had handed over the control of the southern sea port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease, triggering concerns in New Delhi.

Sri Lanka had later clarified that the port will not be used as a military base and it will not engage in any activities which may harm India’s security interests.

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