Indian FM in Sri Lanka amid unrest

Jan 9, 2007 (AFP) – Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee arrived in Sri Lanka Tuesday to invite President Mahinda Rajapakse to attend a South Asian summit in New Delhi in April, officials said.

Mukherjee opened talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mangala Samaraweera here ahead of talks with Rajapakse and Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake before leaving the island Wednesday.

The visit comes amid serious concern expressed by India over the plight of civilians caught in the cross fire between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the island’s embattled northern and eastern regions.

India has already offered some 7,200 tonnes of food for Sri Lanka’s minority Tamils who are trapped by fighting in the embattled regions.