Sri Lanka on Friday condoled former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s death saying that his signature in politics was achieving pragmatic consensus.

“It is with deep sadness that I learn of the passing away of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of the Republic of India,” Sri Lankan President Maithripal Sirisena said in a message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The late Prime Minister Vajpayee’s signature in politics was achieving pragmatic consensus,” Sirisena said.

“In this process he earned the respect of his party, among politicians of India as well as around the world. He projected an amiable image of India and connected with the world through his practical foreign policy outreach.”

Describing Vajpayee as a true friend of Sri Lanka for long years, Sirisena said that the late Prime Minister “rendered an immense support for a stable and peaceful Sri Lanka, which paved the way for the strong bilateral relations that we enjoy today”.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family members and people of India in this hour of grief,” he said.

Three-time Prime Minister Vajpayee, 93, passed away on Thursday evening after a prolonged illness.