ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has offered $50 million new credit line to Sri Lanka for cooperation in the field of defence and security.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Imran Khan who concluded his two-day official visit to the island nation, said the Joint Communique issued by the foreign ministries of the two countries.
“The two sides stressed the need for stronger partnership for supporting and coordinating with each other in dealing with matters related to security, terrorism, organized crime and drug and narcotics trafficking as well as intelligence-sharing,” the statement said.
The two sides expressed satisfaction over the existing bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and noted that the elevation of staff-level talks to Defence Dialogue had provided an opportunity to expand security sector relations.
To strengthen sports diplomacy, Pakistan will provide Rs52 million for the promotion of sports in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Imran Khan at an interactive session with the sports community of Sri Lanka announced the commissioning of the ‘Imran Khan High-Performance Sports Centre’ in Colombo.
Pakistan also announced to establish Asian Civilization and Culture Centre at University of Peradeniya at the Sri Lankan resort Kandy. Both countries agreed on a broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in diverse fields and promote high-level and delegation-level exchanges.
This was the first visit by the Prime Minister of Pakistan to Sri Lanka since the formation of the new governments in both countries. During the visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan held delegation-level meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka. Both sides comprehensively reviewed the multifaceted bilateral relationship in diverse fields of cooperation.
Pakistan announced 100 scholarships in the field of medicines (MBBS and BDS) as part of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme (PSLHECP).
Both sides reached a broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in a comprehensive manner and agreed to hold frequent meetings, promote high-level and delegation-level exchanges and enhance the process of consultations.
Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan’s support for the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka in line with the vision of a “peaceful neighborhood”. The two sides reviewed the extensive engagement that exists between the two countries in promoting cultural linkages, human resource development, and capacity building in diverse areas as well as educational and technical cooperation.
At the high-level Pakistan-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Conference held in Colombo, the two countries stressed the importance of realizing the goal of achieving $1 billion bilateral trade target and also agreed to work towards broadening and deepening of Pakistan Sri Lank Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Prime Minister Imran Khan and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa jointly acknowledged the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association. Both sides underlined the importance of inter-religious dialogue and harmony as a key to promote cultural diversity, peaceful co-existence and mutual empathy.
The two sides noted the close cooperation between the two countries on issues of mutual interest and agreed to further strengthen a coordinated approach on such matters. Both sides stressed the need to convene the charter-based bodies and agreed to take forward the SAARC process for further strengthening regional cooperation to achieve prosperity in the region.
Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the need for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes through constructive dialogue in accordance with international legitimacy.
In the context of regional connectivity, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted the opportunities presented by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for regional economic growth and prosperity.
Prime Minister of Sri Lanka thanked the government and people of Pakistan for the constant support extended by Pakistan to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.