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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - ISLAMABAD — Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Wednesday have pledged to realize the goal of achieving a $1 billion bilateral trade target and to work to broaden and deepen the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.
In a joint communique issued in Colombo during the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, the two sides reached a broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in diverse fields.
Prime Minister 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 existing extensive engagement between the two countries for the promotion of cultural linkages, human resource development, and capacity building in diverse areas.
The Pakistani side announced 100 scholarships in the field of medicine for Sri Lankan students and unveiled an initiative to set up a center for Asian civilization and culture at the University of Peradeniya, Kandy.
The two sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in tourism and sharing expertise in the hospitality industry.
Both sides recognized the importance of enhancing air connectivity to promote people-to-people contact tourism, trade, and culture.
They expressed satisfaction over the existing bilateral cooperation in the field of defense and noted that the elevation of staff-level talks to defense dialogue has further provided an opportunity to expand security sector ties.
Realizing the need to strengthen parliamentary cooperation, Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan Counterpart jointly acknowledged the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association.
Both sides reiterated their commitment to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter and stressed the need of SAARC Member countries to build on convergences for the greater good of the people in the region.
The two sides reaffirmed their joint commitment to regional peace, security, and stability.
Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the need for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes through constructive dialogue in accordance with international legitimacy.
He highlighted the opportunities presented by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for regional economic growth and prosperity Sn Lanka thanked Pakistan for the tremendous assistance extended to the repatriation of stranded Sri Lankans in Pakistan since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and both sides underscored the need for collective efforts to deal with the pandemic.
The Sri Lankan prime minister thanked Pakistan for its constant support to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of his country.
During the visit, five memoranda of understanding were signed between the two countries. — KUNA
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