Modi to meet MR in NY on Sept. 27


By S Venkat Narayan Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, September 16: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in New York on September 27 in the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session, according to informed sources here.

"The meeting with the Sri Lankan President is still somewhat tentative, but we expect it will happen," a senior diplomat said.

(In a related development, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said on Monday that India expects Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment to its Constitution.

(At a briefing here, he was asked: Recently the Sri Lankan President said that implementing the 13th Amendment is not possible. What is India’s stand?

(Akbaruddin replied: "Our stand is that any decision that has been taken by the Sri Lankan people, and which their leaders have assured to us on repeated occasions, should be implemented. And we have been assured and reassured by the leaders of Sri Lanka that they are committed to full implementation of the 13th Amendment. And we will go by what they have told us).

Rajapaksa was among the heads of state/government from member-nations of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Mauritius, who attended Modi’s swearing-in as the Prime Minister on May 26. The following day, his first as prime minister, Modi held separate meetings with the Sri Lankan leader as well as the other regional leaders who came here at his invitation.

Modi will also hold consultations with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who could not make it to his swearing-in because she was away in Japan on a pre-arranged visit at that time.

The Indian leader will address the UNGA on September 27. He will speak in Hindi at the UNGA, the second Indian prime minister to do so after Atal Behari Vajpayee more than a decade ago.

After addressing the UNGA, Modi will visit Ground Zero, the site of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in downtown New York which were brought down in terror attacks on September 11, 2001. He is also likely to tour the new 9/11 museum and memorial inaugurated by US President Barack Obama in May.


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