Sri Lankan Foreign Minister calls on President Asif Zardari

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister calls on President Asif Zardari

Islamabad: Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka Prof. Gamini Lakshman Peiris today called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

He was accompanied by Air Chief Marshal (R) Jayalath Weerakkody, High Commissioner and Mr. M. H. M. N. Bandar, Deputy Head of Mission. Pak side included Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar, MOS for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Salman Bashir, Foreign Secretary, Mr. Salim H. Mandviwala, Chairman BOI, and other senior officials besides Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar.

Pak-Sri Lankan bilateral relations, mutual cooperation with special reference to that of trade and other related matters were discussed during the meeting. Progress on proposed currency swap agreement for promoting and facilitating mutual trade also came under discussion.

It may be recalled the President during his visit to Sri Lanka had offered assistance to Sri Lanka in cement, sugar and dairy industry and had called for exploring new and unconventional phase of economic cooperation of the two countries. The currency swap agreement was thus proposed to reduce pressure on foreign exchange reserves of the two countries.

The President said that Pakistan values its relations with Sri Lanka which are based on mutual respect, shared civilizational heritage and shared perceptions on host of issues. He said that there was a need to translate this equation into economic terms and take advantage of each other economic expertise and opportunities. He said that by increasing the synergies of our economies and reinforcing institutional framework for economic cooperation, the mutual trade volume can be significantly increased by the two countries.

Prof G. L. Peiris thanked the President for meeting and hoped that the mutual cooperation and bilateral relations would be further strengthened with each passing day.

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