IAF chief meets Lankan President & PM, discusses avenues for deepening cooperation in defence sphere

Colombo: Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari has met Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and discussed avenues for deepening bilateral cooperation and engagements in the defence sphere.

The Chief of Air Staff arrived here on Monday on a four-day official visit to Sri Lanka. He is visiting Sri Lanka at the invitation of Air Marshal SK Pathirana.

“As part of his ongoing visit to Sri Lanka, the CAS Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari met the Honourable President, the State Minister of Defence, the National Security Advisor as well as the Commanders of Sri Lankan Air Force and Navy,” the Indian Air Force tweeted.

“Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari #CAS @IAF_MCC called on President H.E @RW_UNP. Discussed avenues for deepening cooperation and engagements in the defence sphere,” the Indian High Commission in Colombo tweeted.

“The bilateral talks assured IAF’s steadfast commitment to Sri Lanka at all times when India is called upon. The CAS also gave a talk at the prestigious Sri Lankan National Defence College,” the Indian Air Force said in another tweet.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Gunawardena who said that India is the ‘First Responder’ in the region and acknowledged the significant role of the Indian Air Force.

“ACM VR Chaudhari #CAS @IAF_MCC called on H.E PM @DCRGunawardena. H.E. PM underlined that (India) is the ‘First Responder’ in the region and acknowledged the significant role of @IAF_MCC in this regard. CAS reiterated the commitment of @IAF_MCC towards deepening (India-Sri Lanka) defence ties,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.

On Tuesday, as part of India’s commitment towards capacity building of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, Chaudhari presnted AN-32 propellers to ensure high operational readiness of the aircraft held with the Sri Lanka Air Force.

He also met State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon and Chief of Staff and Advisor on National Security Sagala Ratnayaka.

The visit by the Indian Air Force chief will enhance the existing professional ties and bonds of mutual cooperation between both nations, an official statement said.