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Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm project is beneficial for Indo-Sri Lanka economies: India

New Delhi, Oct 7 (UNI) India said on Thursday that it attaches importance to the issue of the Trincomalee oil tank farm in Sri Lanka, as it does to other economic projects which it believes are beneficial to both countries, and the oil tank farm is “certainly one of them” and good discussions took place on the issue during the visit of Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, answering a query during a media briefing, said: “ There are a number of agreements on the oil tank farm, as you said it goes back to 1987, but there are other agreements; there have been more recent agreements on how to utilise the oil tank farm in the best way.
“I wouldn’t like to comment on what the Sri Lankan authorities have been saying to their parliament or internally, but this is an issue that we attach importance as we do to other projects, economic projects, which we believe are beneficial to both countries, and this is certainly one of them, that has been on our agenda; and good discussions took place during the visit of the Foreign Secretary. Let’s see how to take this forward,” he said.
He was responding to a query on questions being raised in the Sri Lankan Parliament by some members over the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm leased to India over 30 years ago.
The issue of the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm had also found mention in the talks between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday. According to a media release from the President’s Office, the President, in reference to the topic, “told Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla that in order to resolve the situation surrounding the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm, the Minister in charge of the subject has been entrusted with the task of resolving the situation in a manner that is beneficial to both countries”.

He told Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla that the people in the two countries should be properly apprised regarding the decisions taken by the two sides in reaching an agreement. He emphasised on the need to act with the consent of the majority of the people by explaining the advantages and disadvantages, the media division said.
The MEA spokesperson said that the Foreign Secretary had a very successful visit to Sri Lanka. “We have shared extensive details about the visit, including about his meetings with the Sri Lankan leadership, with the President, Prime Minister, the FM and other ministers and his counterpart the Foreign Secretary of Sri Lanka as well as with Tamil political leaders.
“He looked at the development projects that were launched during his visit, there were four of them, he took up the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, he talked of the need to address the issue of Indian fishermen in a humanitarian issue, the issue of support to the livelihoods of fishermen of northern Sri Lanka also came up. He also visited Kandy, visited Trincomalee, and Jaffna,” he added.

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