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Sunday, February 12, 2012 - 4.50 GMT

Sri Lanka, Pakistan join hands to promote peace and security in the region


During the bilateral discussions held between the leaders of Sri Lanka and Pakistan yesterday in Islamabad, the two countries have reached consensus on ways to strengthen their bilateral relations further and to promote peace and security in the region and the world.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived in Islamabad Friday on a state visit at the invitation of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, held discussions with President Zardari yesterday.

The President Rajapaksa met the Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani yesterday at the Prime Minister's Secretariat for bilateral discussions.

Both the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan hosted banquets in honour of the visiting President.

A joint communiqué issued in Islamabad Saturday following the talks between the leaders of the two countries said the talks were held in a "friendly and cordial atmosphere and were marked by full trust and complete understanding."

Following the discussions Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed three Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

Pakistani has offered training facilities in banking, information technology, engineering and medical sciences to Sri Lanka.

During the talks both sides agreed to build on the special bond the two countries have and decided to hold frequent summit level meetings, promote parliamentary exchanges and enhance the process of consultations, cooperation and coordination between their respective institutions.

The two countries have decided to fully utilize the potential of the free trade agreement between them to enhance the two-way trade to a US$ 2 billion by 2015.

They have agreed that Governors of their Central Banks would take steps to, among others, open bank branches and trade in local currencies to promote the financial and banking sector cooperation between the two countries.

Both sides have decided to enhance cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology, healthcare, agriculture, tourism, sporting contacts, cultural exchanges and people to people contacts. Both sides also agreed to prioritize cooperation in the field of gems and jewelry.

Among other measures the two countries agreed were, to encourage their private sectors to develop mutually-beneficial project cooperation and joint ventures, develop institutional links between their universities and research institutions, enhance air and sea connectivity, continue their cooperation in regional and international foras and to work together to promoting regional cooperation under the SAARC auspices.

"Both sides expressed their complete satisfaction on the outcome of the state visit by the Sri Lankan President to Pakistan, which constituted another milestone in the joint endeavours of the two countries to take Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations to new heights," the communiqué said.

Minister of External Affairs Prof G.L Peiris, deputy ministers Duminda Dissanayake and Faizer Mustapha, MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena, Secretary to the President, Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary Ministry of External Affairs Karunatilaka Amunugama also participated in the occasions.






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Last modified: February 11, 2012.

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