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Sri Lanka PM to meet Indian counterpart during visit to New Delhi - report

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will visit New Delhi later this week and meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to discuss bilateral matters, according to a report.Mr. Wickremesinghe, according to his office, will take part in high-level meetings, including with Mr. Modi, on October 19 and 20, The Hindu reported.New Delhi has been concerned with the slow pace of several India-aided projects in the island, while Colombo appears inclined to iron out issues, in order to better balance its ties with key partners India and China.From the Indian side, priority projects in the island include the Mattala airport, near the China-controlled port in the southern Hambantota district; the Palaly airport in Jaffna in the Northern Province; the Trincomalee oil tank farm in the east; the East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port and a Liquefied natural gas plant in Kerawalapitiya, north of Colombo.Despite bilateral discussions and joint agreements on development cooperation and commercial partnership, none of the projects have taken off the way it was envisaged. Colombo-based officials, who spoke to The Hindu on condition of anonymity, said the delay was due to political reasons in some cases, and bureaucratic issues in others.India's strategic interests in some of these projects, especially in the Mattala airport and Trincomalee oil tank farm, are well known.

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