Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreed to further strengthen bilateral relations in diverse areas, including trade, investment, science and technology, and culture through enhanced connectivity. “My visit is aimed at strengthening bilateral relationship [with Sri Lanka], especially trade and economic ties through enhanced connectivity…,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said while addressing a joint press conference with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa here after holding one-on-one and delegation talks. Imran Khan said since Pakistan was part of the Chinese president’s Belt and Road Initiative through its flagship China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, Sri Lanka could benefit from it through enhanced connectivity up to the Central Asian states. The prime minister, who is in Sri Lanka on a two-day visit, said he had asked his delegation to find ways and means to enhance trade and economic relations between the two countries through increased connectivity.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa told the media-persons that they discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, besides ways and means to strengthen bilateral ties. He said during the meeting, the two sides agreed to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in diverse areas, including trade, investment, science and technology, education and culture. Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan counterpart on the occasion also witnessed the signing of five memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for enhanced bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, science and technology, and industrial technology. Prime Minister Imran Khan is the first head of government to visit Sri Lanka after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office last year, which was reflective of the importance both the countries attach to their important relationship. Imran Khan is visiting Sri Lanka on the invitation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Sohail Ali Khan