Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has promised to support Pakistan's bid to host the next South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit, read a Foreign Office statement issued on Wednesday.

In a meeting with Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Sirisena said that the trade body must be strengthened in order to enhance regional cooperation.

Last year, the Saarc summit was scheduled to be held in Pakistan, however, it had to be cancelled after India refused to attend the meeting.

Janjua is in Colombo along with a Pakistani delegation to hold the fifth round of bilateral political consultations with Sri Lanka. She will also launch the Pakistan Alumni Society of Sri Lanka during her stay.

President Sirisena urged Pakistan to invest in Sri Lanka's sugar and cement industry as the country's current production does not match its requirement. He told Janjua that currently Sri Lanka only fulfils 20 per cent of its total demand.

The foreign secretary assured Sirisena that Pakistan will support Sri Lanka's livestock and dairy sectors, adding that deliberations between the two countries are already underway. She said that Pakistan will continue to assist development projects in Sri Lanka.

Sirisena thanked Pakistan for its continued support, especially at the United Nations Human Rights Council "as a true friend and a brother, during the period of conflict in the country".

Opinion

Editorial

By-election trends
Updated 23 Apr, 2024

By-election trends

Unless the culture of violence and rigging is rooted out, the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan will continue to remain under a cloud.
Privatising PIA
23 Apr, 2024

Privatising PIA

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb’s reaffirmation that the process of disinvestment of the loss-making national...
Suffering in captivity
23 Apr, 2024

Suffering in captivity

YET another animal — a lioness — is critically ill at the Karachi Zoo. The feline, emaciated and barely able to...
Not without reform
Updated 22 Apr, 2024

Not without reform

The problem with us is that our ruling elite is still trying to find a way around the tough reforms that will hit their privileges.
Raisi’s visit
22 Apr, 2024

Raisi’s visit

IRANIAN President Ebrahim Raisi, who begins his three-day trip to Pakistan today, will be visiting the country ...
Janus-faced
22 Apr, 2024

Janus-faced

THE US has done it again. While officially insisting it is committed to a peaceful resolution to the...