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PM Imran Khan holds talks with Sri Lankan Counterpart in Colombo

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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Prime Minister Imran Khan held a one-on-one meeting with his Sri Lankan Counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees in Colombo on Tuesday, and exchanged views on a wide range of issues with particular emphasis on further strengthening the bilateral relations in diverse fields.

Both the prime ministers expressed commitment to working together to continue strengthening all facets of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka relationship.

The one-on-one meeting was followed by delegation-level talks.

The talks covered 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.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan reached Colombo where he was received by his Sri Lankan Counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa along with his Cabinet Members at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

Accompanied by a high-level delegation including Members of the Cabinet and Senior Government Officials, Imran Khan was accorded a red-carpet reception upon arrival followed by a formal welcoming ceremony where he was given a 19-gun salute.

The prime minister also inspected an impressive guard-of-honor following which the national anthems of both Countries were played. He also signed the Visitors’ Book.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka and Officers of the High Commission were also present.

During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan will also hold talks with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and discuss issues of bilateral and regional significance.

During the visit, a number of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) will be signed to enhance the bilateral cooperation.

Also Read: Pakistan, Sri Lanka ink MoUs to strengthen cooperation

The prime minister will also participate in the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference to be held on February 24 to promote trade and investment between the two countries.

Prime Minister Office released following Statement:

Prime Minister Imran Khan had extensive consultations with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees (Prime Minister’s Office) today. The one-on-one meeting between the two Prime Ministers was followed by delegation-level talks between the two sides.

​The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions with a focus on reinforcing a broad-based and enduring partnership between Pakistan and Sri Lanka to advance the shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in South Asia.

​The two leaders reaffirmed their resolve to work together across a broad range of areas. They acknowledged the immense opportunities and vast potential for mutually beneficial collaboration in the areas of trade and investment, IT and human resource development, agriculture and science and technology, security and defence cooperation, and culture and tourism.

Appreciating the rich Buddhist heritage of Pakistan and the existence of a great potential for religious tourism, it was agreed to enhance mutual collaboration including through sharing expertise in the hospitality industry, training and capacity-building.​

​Both sides expressed satisfaction at the close cooperation between the two countries at multilateral fora and resolved to further deepen strategic communication and coordination at all levels.

It was also agreed to keep the momentum of high-level exchanges between the two countries.

The two sides noted that both Pakistan and Sri Lanka have done relatively well in handling the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. In the international context, the importance of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” for developing countries to mitigate the adverse socio-economic impacts of the pandemic was highlighted.

​Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored Pakistan’s commitment to peace and stability in the region. The Prime Minister also underlined the imperative of constructive engagement by all sides to promote a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s shifting focus from geo-strategic to geo-economics was underscored. The three pillars of Pakistan’s economic security vision – peace, development partnerships, and connectivity – were emphasised.

The Prime Minister emphasised the importance of resolving disputes through dialogue and promoting the vision of peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia and beyond.​

​The two sides reiterated their commitment to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter and agreed on the importance of taking forward the SAARC process for regional cooperation.

Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed deep appreciation and sincere gratitude to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality accorded to him and his delegation in Sri Lanka.

Prime Minister Imran Khan extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience.​

The two leaders witnessed the signing ceremony of important MOUs on cooperation in the fields of tourism, investment, education, and technology.

The two leaders later jointly addressed the media.

​The meeting was followed by a banquet hosted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in honour of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his delegation.

Mati
Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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