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Narendra Modi visits bombed Sri Lanka church, vows support after attacks

Updated : June 09, 2019 04:05 PM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday honoured those killed by Islamist militants in Sri Lanka's Easter bombings, vowing support for the island nation as Delhi seeks to counter the rise of China in the region. The hours-long stop in Sri Lanka was part of Modi's first overseas trip after winning a second term. He arrived from the Maldives, where on Saturday he called for a global conference to tackle the threat of terrorism. In recent years, China's presence has grown in both in Sri Lanka and in the Maldives as Beijing financed infrastructure projects and sought closer military ties, especially for its navy. The debt from those projects has, however, become a burden for both countries. India is pursuing what it calls a "neighbourhood first" foreign policy centred on its allies in South Asia, although there is little sign of a warming in relations with arch rival Pakistan.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds an umbrella during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds an umbrella during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives with Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena during his welcome ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 9, 2019. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
 Narendra Modi on Sunday honoured those killed by Islamist militants in Sri Lanka's Easter bombings, vowing support for the island nation. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
 Narendra Modi on Sunday honoured those killed by Islamist militants in Sri Lanka's Easter bombings, vowing support for the island nation. REUTERS/ Dinuka Liyanawatte
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