India monitors any development having bearing on its security: MEA

NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of reports of a proposed visit by a Chinese vessel to Sri Lanka’s Hambanthota port next month, India on Thursday said it carefully monitors any development having a bearing on its security and economic interests.

The southern deep-sea port of Hambantota is considered strategically important for its location. It has been developed largely with Chinese loans.

According to reports, the Chinese scientific research vessel is poised to enter the port in the second week of August for a week.

“We are aware of reports of a proposed visit by this vessel to Hambantota in August,” External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said when asked about the reports.

“The government carefully monitors any development having a bearing on India’s security and economic interests and takes all necessary measures to safeguard them,” he said.

The proposed visit by the vessel comes when Sri Lanka is grappling with a severe economic crisis.

India has been at the forefront of extending economic assistance to Sri Lanka.

As the new Sri Lankan president looks at pulling the country out of its economic crisis, India last week said that it will continue to assist the island nation and support its people in their quest for stability and prosperity. On Wednesday, Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Samantha Power said China’s “opaque loan” deals at higher interest rates to Sri Lanka was one of the reasons for the country’s economic crisis. (PTI)

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