Pakistan, Sri Lanka ink MoUs to strengthen cooperation

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday signed multiple Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) in various sectors at Temple Trees in Colombo.

The MoUs were related to commerce, investment, education, science and technology, and industrial cooperation.

The MoUs were signed by the Departmental Representatives from both the Countries in the presence of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Earlier, both Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan Counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa held a one-on-one meeting and discussed issues of bilateral and regional significance.

The two prime ministers later led delegation-level talks, covering all areas of Pakistan-Sri Lanka bilateral cooperation including trade and investment, health and education, agriculture and science & technology, defence and security, and culture, and tourism.

In his remarks, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that during our bilateral discussions, Prime Minister Imran Khan, and I agreed to work closely towards enhancing our bilateral cooperation in the economic sector and a number of other areas including trade, investment, science, technology, defense and education.

The Sri Lankan prime minister said that we also agreed to pursue the opportunities presented within the framework of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Mahinda Rajapaksa said that our talks also focused on important regional and international issues as well as the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He said that we further agreed to work towards increasing activities in the tourism and aviation sectors.

“Sri Lanka is grateful to Pakistan for agreeing to open the pilgrimage corridors for Sri Lankans to visit ancient Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan,” he said.

The Sri Lankan prime minister said that we believe that political stability and regional peace will be the key to achieve sustainable development, economic growth, and prosperity in South Asia.

“I admire Prime Minister Imran Khan for his efforts in alleviating poverty & socio-economic disparity which play an important part of our dev agenda,” he said.

The Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that we will continue to work together to fight terrorism, religious fundamentalism, and extremism. He said that we also agreed to continue with the current mechanism to curb illegal drug trafficking, arms smuggling and other illegal activities by sharing information through the relevant agencies.

“We are thankful to Pakistan for the partnership in the field of sports and assistance to enhance sports training facilities in the Country,” he further said.

Mahinda Rajapaksa said that restarting Parliamentary interaction through the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Groups was also discussed extensively during the talks.

Besides, several MoUs were also signed between both the two nations to put into effect the bilateral discussions that were had.

“I thank Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Government and people of Pakistan for remaining a steadfast friend to Sri Lanka throughout, particularly in times of great need,” he said.