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China ready to enhance Sri Lanka's counter-terrorism capabilities: Prez Xi tells Srisena

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing/Colombo 

Chinese has promised his Sri Lankan counterpart full support in combating terrorism and boost the country's counter-terrorism capabilities, nearly a month after the massive bombings.

Expressing China's strong condemnation of the terror attacks in Sri Lanka, Xi said is ready to stand alongside the and people.

Xi met on Tuesday as the Sri Lankan visited to attend the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilisations hosted by the Chinese

During the meeting, Xi said will support in combating terrorism, and help the country enhance its counter-terrorism capacity building to safeguard national security and stability.

stands ready to work with to constantly push forward their strategic cooperative partnership that features sincere mutual help and long-term friendship, Xi said.

He called on the two sides to maintain regular high-level communication, firmly grasp the general direction of friendly cooperation, and staunchly support each other, China's official agency reported.

The two should steadily advance the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), promote cooperation in major projects, and accelerate livelihood projects to benefit the people of Sri Lanka, Xi said.

is a major beneficiary of investment projects financed by China. One such investment project was the Hambantota port, which was leased to for 99 years for USD 1.12 billion in 2017. The deal, critics say, is an example of Beijing's so-called 'debt diplomacy'.

He also called for deepening and jointly addressing non-traditional security threats including terrorism.

A series of coordinated bombings on rocked Sri Lanka, killing over 250 people and wounding 500 others. The attacks were the deadliest on the island nation since the end of its civil war 10 years ago, and targeted three churches as well as three luxury hotels in the capital, Colombo.

The Islamic State has claimed the attacks, but the has blamed local Islamist extremist group (NTJ) for the bombings.

Thanking China for its long-term support, said Sri Lanka always regards developing relations with China as a priority, and is willing to work with China to enhance Belt and Road cooperation, and deepen development and security cooperation.

An agreement was also signed promoting more closer cooperation in the defence sector of the two nations during the meeting, Sri Lanka's reported.

The has agreed to provide a financial grant of Rs 2.6 billion for the activities of security forces during the emergency situation in the country, First website reported.

The Sri Lankan Presidential said that the Chinese President agreed to provide 100 Jeeps worth Rs 1.5 billion to the department immediately.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 15 2019. 21:51 IST