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India, Sri Lanka mull open sky policy

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 09, 2006 14:39 IST
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India and Sri Lanka consider an open sky policy within the framework of the air traffic agreement of the SAARC nations.

"We had a fruitful discussion regarding increasing the number of services between the two countries and also the possibility of an open sky policy," Sri Lankan minister of foreign affairs, ports and aviation Mangala Samaraweera told reporters in New Delhi after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Praful Patel.

Officials of the two countries would meet again in June-July in Colombo to discuss how to further the flexibility of the existing bilateral framework, he added.

Patel said Sri Lanka has sought more connectivity between the two countries.

"Sri Lanka is one of the countries which has utilised its entitlement to the maximum and the Sri Lankan government is keen that India opens up more," he said.

Patel said while India was in favour of increasing more connectivity between the two countries, he said a separate agreement with the island nation could not be entertained outside the SAARC framework.

"We have a standard policy template on aviation for the SAARC countries, which applies to each and every nation of the group and whatever we do will have to be within that framework," he said.

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