PM Imran Khan embarks on two-day maiden visit to Sri Lanka

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PM Imran Khan has left for 2-day visit to Sri Lanka to boost cooperation with the island nation

Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday embarked on his two-day maiden visit to Sri Lanka. The premier was invited by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to visit the island nation. During his visit, PM Imran Khan is scheduled to hold multiple talks with Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and other senior officials on a wide array of issues with the objective of boosting bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The premier is accompanied by a high-level delegation which includes senior officials and members of the cabinet of Pakistan.

As per a statement issued by Foreign Ministry, PM Khan’s talks with Sri Lankan leadership will cover various areas of cooperation between the two countries such as trade and investment, defence and security, agriculture, health and education, science & technology, and culture and tourism.

“Besides bilateral matters, views will be exchanged on key regional and international issues,” the statement added.

During PM Imran Khan’s visit, an announcement about the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association is also expected with the aim of enhancing parliamentary exchanges between the two nations. In addition to this, PM Khan will also be participating in a joint ‘Trade and Investment Conference’ with the agenda of boosting trade and investment between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Several agreements of bilateral cooperation will also be signed between the two leaderships.

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In a weekly media briefing, Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, noted that other elements of PM Imran Khan’s visit would be decided in accordance with the COVID-19 related health and safety protocols in Sri Lanka.

The Premier’s visit to the island nation has come days after Pakistan and Sri Lanka agreed on reactivating the Joint Working Group (JWG) for resolving their pending technical issues. On February 18, the seventh session of commerce secretaries level talks was held virtually between members of the two trading partners. After the meeting, an official announcement was made declaring that the two sides have agreed on enhancing cooperation in trade-related issues with the key aim of employing the capabilities of the Free Trade Agreement.

This is Prime Minister Khan’s first visit to Sri Lanka after assuming office in the year 2018. The two countries have enjoyed decades of cordial relations on defence, trade, commerce, and culture fronts.

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