COLOMBO: Pakistan and Sri Lanka on Tuesday inked eight memoranda of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Sri Lanka.
The MoUs and agreements for cooperation in fields of health, education, trade, science and technology, tourism, gem and jewelry were signed during delegation-level talks between the two countries.
The premier and his delegation were accorded a formal welcome at the Presidential Palace upon his arrival for a reception.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena warmly received Nawaz Sharif, who was accompanied by his wife Kalsoom Nawaz, reported Radio Pakistan.
Take a look: Sharif presents ‘Majestic Pakistan’ to Lankan PM
Speaking at the ceremony, PM Nawaz said his visit to Sri lanka "is a testimony to strong bonds of friendship between our two countries."
The premier said Pakistan is keen to follow its goal of increasing bilateral trade volume with Sri Lanka to $1 billion. Both countries will jointly work to curb money laundering, he said.
He said Pakistan is cooperating with Sri Lanka in the defence sector and the two countries will work together to choke financial assistance to terrorists.
Nawaz also invited the Sri Lankan president to visit Pakistan.
President Sirisena thanked Pakistan for its cooperation in various fields and said he hoped ties between both countries will strengthen with passage of time.
Increase in bilateral trade volume is need of the hour, he said.
The two leaders also held a one-on-one meeting during which President Sirisena said his country noticed that political disturbances in Pakistan were being eliminated under PM Nawaz's leadership.
At the outset of the welcome ceremony, national anthems of the two countries were played and a guard of honour was presented.
Pakistani delegation comprised Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and Advisor on National Security Nasir Khan Janjua.
PM Nawaz, who is in Sri Lanka on a three-day visit earlier presented his counterpart, Ranil Wickremesinghe, a book, ‘Majestic Pakistan’ at the launch ceremony on Monday. A Pakistan-Sri Lanka friendship anthem prepared by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo was also launched on the occasion.
A Pakistan-Sri Lanka friendship anthem prepared by the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo was also launched on the occasion.
Later during his trip, PM Nawaz will deliver a special lecture to parliamentarians, ministers and members of diplomatic corps on the invitation of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies.
He will visit the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic, International Buddhist Museum and Jinnah Hall in the historic city of Kandy.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy friendly and cordial relations. Diplomatic ties between the two countries were established in 1948.
The two governments have maintained high-level bilateral interactions, including President Sirisena's visit to Pakistan from April 5-7 last year. PM Nawaz and President Sirisena also met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta in November last year.