Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on 4-day visit to Sri Lanka

New Delhi/Colombo, (| Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff , on Monday arrived in Sri Lanka on a four-day official visit. During the visit, the Chief of Air Staff is scheduled to call on the Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, and hold meetings with the State Minister of Defence, the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Commanders of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Army and Navy, and the Defence Secretary, a Defence Ministry statement said.

The Chief of Air Staff is visiting Sri Lanka on the invitation of the Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Marshal SK Pathirana. The visit of the CAS will enhance the existing professional ties and bonds of mutual cooperation between both the Nations, it said. The Indian High Commission in Colombo in tweets said: “Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari #CAS @IAF_MCC sought the blessings of Lord #Buddha at the sacred Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo today.”

“Underlining the strong India-Sri Lanka defence ties, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari #CAS @IAF_MCC arrived on a 4-day visit to Sri Lanka. He was warmly received by AVM RAUP Rajapaksa, Chief of Staff @airforcelk and Deputy HC @VinodKJacob76 on arrival. “He will be meeting the political and military leadership of Sri Lanka and discussing avenues for enhancing bilateral defence cooperation during the visit.“

“The visit symbolises strong relations and close cooperation between the two friendly neighbours, with Sri Lanka being accorded the status of ‘Priority One’ partner by India,” the Indian High Commission said. Underlining the strong bonds of friendship between the two services, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari would be laying the foundation stone for India- Sri Lanka Friendship Auditorium at Sri Lanka Air Force Academy, Trincomalee under a 250 Million LKR Grant assistance by Government of India, in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, the statement said.

As part of GOI’s commitment towards capacity building of Sri Lanka Armed Forces, Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force would be presenting AN-32 propellers to ensure high operational readiness of the aircraft held with Sri Lanka Air Force, it said.He would also be interacting with students at the prestigious National Defence College, Sri Lanka and the Air Force Academy, China Bay, wherein training aids for the students would be gifted.
The visit of Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force is expected to strengthen the existing relations between the two countries and facilitate discussions on common security challenges and enhancing capacity and capability building initiatives towards ensuring Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), as propounded by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(UNI)