ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi arrived in Colombo late on Sunday night. He will begin his two-day official visit of Sri Lanka on Monday during which he will meet the country’s newly elected leadership and convey to it a felicitation message of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to Foreign Office, Mr Qureshi will call on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and felicitate them.
The foreign minister will have separate meeting with his newly-appointed Sri Lankan counterpart, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. The two sides will exchange views on the entire gamut of bilateral relations and matters pertaining to regional and international issues.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka enjoy close and cordial ties based on mutual trust and understanding. The bilateral relationship is broad-based and multifaceted, covering diverse fields, including political, trade, commercial, defence and people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges. High-level visits are a regular feature of Pakistan-Sri Lanka relations.
PM Khan on Nov 20, telephoned newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, congratulating him on his electoral win and invited him to visit Pakistan at his ‘earliest convenience’.
President Rajapaksa accepted the invitation, according to the statement.
Mr Rajapaksa stormed to victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, the results of which came on Nov 17.
PM Khan had said the election reflected the trust reposed by the Sri Lankan people in the leadership and vision of Mr Rajapaksa and hoped that the country and its people would achieve greater success and prosperity under President Gotabaya’s stewardship.
The excellent Pakistan-Sri Lanka bilateral relations were also discussed and the two leaders reciprocated each other’s desire to further fortify bilateral cooperation in diverse areas.
Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2019