Hambantota port, Sri Lanka (Photo: The Times of India)
New Delhi (People’s Daily app) – In the backdrop of India’s interest in leasing out an airport in Hambantota, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Rani Wichremesinghe starts his 4-day visit to India on November 21 and will hold wide-ranging talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to boost bilateral relationships.
As Sri Lanka has become an important partner for India both in the neighborhood and in the Indian Ocean region, the two state leaders are also expected to focus on issues of maritime security.
According to the newspaper, India is intended to lease Mattala international airport near the Hambantota port, which had been constructed with the assistance of China Harbor Engineering Company, for 40 years at over $200 million.
China's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianlang recently said that Chinese firms would invest $5 billion into the special economic zone near the port. The leasing makes sense from a security and strategic point of view as it will give India eyes on Hambatota, The Times of India reported.