CEPA will not be discussed during PMs India visit

This will be Wickremesinghe’s first official overseas visit since being appointed Prime Minister last month and the Prime Minister says he considers it important to visit India first. Meanwhile, Minister of International Trade and Investment Malik Samarawickreme denied reports that the CEPA agreement will be discussed and signed during the visit.The signing of the CEPA agreement has remained stalled over the years as both sides had failed to reach a consensus on some issues. Wickremesinghe will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Pranab Mukherjee and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, among others, during his visit which begins tomorrow, the Prime Ministers office said in a statement today. The proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Sri Lanka and India will not be discussed during Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India, the Government said today.The Prime Minister’s office said that Wickremesinghe will discuss domestic issues as well as regional security with the Indian leaders. Samarawickreme said that before signing such an agreement there is a need to look at Sri  Lanka’s requirements today.The Minister said that be it an agreement with India or any other country, the new Sri Lankan Government will ensure it meets the interest of the Sri Lankan people. (Colombo Gazette)

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