Sri Lanka, Pakistan agree to intensify trade, defence, economic links

ISLAMABAD, Apr.0l (AFP) – Pakistan and Sri Lanka agreed Saturday to intensify cooperation in defence, science and technology and trade after talks between their leaders, officials said. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who arrived here Friday on a three-day visit, held talks with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on a wide range of issues, a joint statement said.


“The two sides agreed to make every effort to further strengthen their multifaceted and multi-sectoral cooperation in the fields of education, culture, commerce and trade, science and technology, defence and tourism,” it said.


Rajapakse is accompanied by his brother Gotabaya Rajapakse, who is the top official in Sri Lanka’s defence ministry.


Pakistan is a key supplier of small arms to Colombo and provides training to Sri Lankan security forces.

The two countries entered into a bilateral free trade agreement last year.


The two sides also agreed on enhancing people-to-people contact by greater collaboration in the field of tourism.


They signed a memorandum of understanding on promotion of tourism and another for setting up a joint business council by their chambers