India and Japan have partnered with Sri Lanka to strengthen regional connectivity in the Indo-Pacific, as reported on Friday.
This comes in response to China's military action in the resource-rich region. Several world powers such as the US and India have stressed on the importance of creating an open, free and thriving Indo-Pacific.
The territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas are currently a matter of intense contention for China. China has developed military infrastructure on its artificial islands in recent years.
According to the Daily Mirror Lanka newspaper, the Indian High Commissioner, Gopal Baglay, stated that India and Japan have a broad range of shared interests in fostering a peaceful, progressive, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
The Japanese envoy Mizukoshi Hideaki was present when he made these remarks at an event.
Sri Lanka's significance as an Indian Ocean Rim Association member was highlighted by Baglay, recommending cooperation between India, Japan and Sri Lanka will improve the welfare of the populace and provide advantages to all stakeholders, according to the report.
"This should be in accordance with the priorities of Sri Lanka," he said.
Baglay stated that Sri Lanka aligns with three key aspects of India's foreign policy in a positive way.
Ambassador Hideaki stated that Japan and India discussed Sri Lanka's cooperation during Prime Minister Kishida's visit and will cooperate closely.
Hideaki emphasized the importance of connectivity in showcasing how two countries can bring tangible benefits to the region, including Sri Lanka. He further stated that this report addresses perspectives and insights from countries in the region, which are critical to achieving this goal.
Sri Lanka plays a vital role in China's Belt and Road project, which aims to connect China with other nations through infrastructure investment.
China's unproductive efforts in Sri Lanka, such as taking over the Hambantota port on a 99-year lease as a debt swap in 2017, have caused significant disapproval, he said.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently granted Sri Lanka a $3 billion bailout to counter its economic crisis and encourage other development partners to provide financial assistance. Colombo hailed it as a "historic milestone" during this crucial period.
Sri Lanka got $330 million as the initial part of IMF's bailout plan last week. The country's President Wickremesinghe claimed that it would aid in establishing better "fiscal discipline" and "improved governance" to overcome the financial crisis.
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