Apr 07, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Pakistan is a testimony to the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said addressing a joint press conference on Monday, a statement said.
Sirisena visited Pakistan starting 5th April for a three day tour, in order to strengthen relations between the two countries.
The two countries signed six memorandums of understanding and held bilateral talks to enhance trade between the two countries, the President’s Office said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Sharif was quoted saying, as the two countries enjoy excellent relations, based on mutual respect and shared interests, Pakistan will further deepen and broaden relations with Sri Lanka in all fields of importance.
“During our talks, President Sirisena and I, reviewed a whole range of Pakistan-Sri Lanka multifaceted bilateral relations. Full trust and complete understanding marked the talks. Both sides reached a broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen our bilateral cooperation in a comprehensive manner.” PM Sharif was quoted in a statement.
However he was quoted as saying that Sri Lanka and Pakistan trade has not realized its potential yet but plans to achieve one billion US dollar trade in next few years.
“Sri Lanka enjoys the special position of being the first country with which Pakistan had a Free Trade Agreement (August 2002),”
“The present volume of trade does reflect the true potential,”
We have agreed to re-invigorate our effort to realize the goal of achieving US$ 1 billion bilateral trade target within the next few years,” he said.
“We agreed on the importance of tourism and the people-to-people contacts between our two countries. Sporting ties, especially in Cricket, have created special bonds between our two peoples.
Sri Lanka had also discussed corporation in the field of defense, regional situation, growth and development between the two countries.
“We discussed cooperation in the field of defense. Sri Lanka has been participating in defense exhibitions in Pakistan, while our naval ships have regularly called on the Sri Lankan ports,”
“The meeting also allowed us to discuss cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at the multilateral forums, especially SAARC,” the Prime Minister said.