COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, Feb 23 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa held a one-on-one meeting here in Colombo and discussed issues of bilateral and regional importance.

The two leaders affirmed resolve to strengthen relations in diverse areas in a meeting held at Temple Trees – the office of Sri Lanka Prime Minister.

The two sides focused on strengthening ties in areas of trade and investment, health, education, agriculture and science & technology, security, culture and tourism.

Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived here in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo on a two-day official visit this afternoon.

Earlier, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa received Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Bandaranaike International Airport.

The Prime Minister was given guard of honour by the contingent of Sri Lankan forces and a gun salute at a special welcome reception ceremony held at the airport.

 

A red carpet was rolled out for Prime Minister Imran Khan and the national anthems of Pakistan and Sri Lanka were played on the occasion. Cultural troupe attired in traditional dresses presented a welcome dance.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood and Special Assistant Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari.

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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.

Imran Khan is undertaking the visit to the island nation on the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Besides meeting the Sri Lankan top leadership, Imran Khan will also lead the delegation-level talks, covering all areas of cooperation between the two countries, including trade and investment, health and education, agriculture and science & technology, defence and security, and culture and tourism.

The Foreign Office said the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association will also be announced during the visit to further promote parliamentary exchanges between the two countries.

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The Prime Minister will participate in a joint ‘Trade and Investment Conference’ aimed at promoting trade and investment between the two countries. A number of memorandums of understanding to enhance bilateral cooperation will be signed during the visit.

The prime minister’s visit would help further strengthen the Pakistan-Sri Lanka relationship and enhance mutual cooperation in diverse fields, the FO concluded.

A Sri Lankan foreign ministry statement said the visit would feature “a business and investment forum, as well as a sports diplomacy initiative”.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations since 1948. The two countries share commonality of views on a wide range of international and regional issues. Both the sides also work closely at the international and regional fora, including the United Nations and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

 -Covered live by APP Digital from Islamabad