India’s assistance to Sri Lanka is economic, not political: FM

Union Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar distanced India from political turmoil in Sri Lanka.

Mr Jaishankar told reporters here on Tuesday: “The situation in Sri Lanka is very sensitive and complex. A lot of developments are taking place in Sri Lanka, even as we speak. Sri Lankans are our neighbors and friendly people. India wants to help them over water their current economic difficulties. India’s focus is on the economic aspects. Other issues are not bothering India. “

When asked about the alleged Chinese invasion of the Indian border along the Line of Control (LoC), Mr. Jaishankar said: “Chinese invasions in 1962 or Chinese invasions in Rahul Gandhi’s mind ?. I don’t see anything particularly new up front. “

Mr. Jaishankar said the border issue originated with the Chinese occupation of Indian territory in 1962. “The Chinese came and occupied large areas, including Ladakh. These are strategic areas that pose some challenges to our border forces until that happened in the last two years, ”he said.

Mr Jaishankar said India had effectively opposed any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo along the border. “We will not deal with such measures. Currently, India and China are engaging at diplomatic and military levels. The focus is on determining whether separation is possible at friction points where both Indian and Chinese are forces are soon deployed. I flagged the matter to my Chinese counterpart last week, ”he said.

Mr. Jaishankar said national security was the Center’s “number-one” priority. “In the LoC along with China, despite COVID-19, India sent an enormous number of troops to defend the border,” he said.

When asked about the Naval “sea guard” exercise involving China and Pakistan, Mr. Jaishankar said: “We are seeing an increase in maritime activity. India has a national maritime security coordinator named Admiral Ashok Kumar, who hails from Kerala.

Mr. Jaishankar mourned the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “Abe is a strong advocate of enhanced Indo-Japanese relations. He wants Japan to contribute more to global security. I’ve known him for 25 years. It’s also a personal loss,” he said. he says.

Mr. Jaishankar dismissed the “propaganda” that India had a strident image around the world under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The world sees India as a sharing, democratic and tolerant politics that is willing to help everyone. Our international response to COVID-19 says so.”

Mr. Jaishankar also defended India’s decision to buy oil from countries authorized by the West to insulate citizens from the vagaries of the global oil market.