Colombo/UNI: Pakistan is seeking to widen the scope of cooperation with Sri Lanka to include defence, trade and investment, tourism, and multi-industry capacity building.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday and discussed deepening ties between the two countries, a foreign ministry statement said.
“We already have very close, friendly and warm relations with Sri Lanka. Pakistan hopes to further develop them widening the scope of cooperation,” Qureshi said.
During discussions with President Rajapaksa, Qureshi discussed preserving Buddhist heritage sites in Pakistan, fighting terrorism, and combating drug trafficking in the region.
He invited a delegation of Buddhist clergy from Sri Lanka to visit Pakistan and see the Buddhist religious sites.
A president’s media communique also said that Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s keen interest in further strengthening bilateral relations especially in the areas of economic development, security cooperation, intelligence sharing and regional cooperation.
President Rajapaksa also urged Pakistan to help Sri Lanka in the fight against Islamic extremism.
Qureshi also called on Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
He also said that both countries must look towards strengthening the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement which was the first bilateral free trade agreement of Pakistan.