Indian, Sri Lankan FMs to discuss fishermen issue
2014-01-17 10:43:48   copyfrom:Chinadaily    hits:

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka and India& 39;s foreign ministers are set to meet later this month to discuss important bila
COLOMBO - Sri Lanka and India's foreign ministers are set to meet later this month to discuss important bilateral issues including the problem of illegal fishing, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a delegation headed by Sri Lanka Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne flew to India to hold talks with their counterparts on resolving the issue of illegal fishing in each other's territorial waters.
Over 400 fishermen from both sides have been detained after they were caught for allegedly poaching in the other country's territorial waters.
"The release of fishermen on a reciprocal basis by the government of Sri Lanka and India is proceeding as a continuing initiative," the Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry said in the statement.
It added that an initial batch of 20 fishermen were released from Mallakam and Tamil Nadu, and this was followed a few hours later by the release of 32 fishermen from Pondichery in India.
Sri Lanka has also decided to release another 161 fishermen over the next few days.
Rajitha Senarathna will have talks in New Delhi with India's Agriculture Minister Sherard Pawar on the main elements of a durable solution to the problem of illicit fishing and the use of prohibited methods, which have given rise to vexed problems over a sustained period.
Both countries have pledged continued engagement to resolve the issue and maintain cordial relations.

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