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SRI LANKA-PAKISTAN JOINT STATEMENT

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At the invitation of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, His Excellency Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan paid a State Visit to Sri Lanka from 27 – 30 November 2010.
The President of Pakistan was accorded a ceremonial welcome on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport on 27th November 2010. During the visit, the President of Pakistan was received by the President of Sri Lanka, who hosted a banquet in his honour. The two leaders held official talks  

2. The official discussions between the two sides were marked by
friendship, mutual respect and understanding. The President of Sri
Lanka and the President of Pakistan agreed that the civilizational
heritage of Sri Lanka and of Pakistan provided the foundation to build
a vibrant and multi-faceted partnership. Sri Lanka – Pakistan
relations have matured and diversified with the passage of time,
encompassing key areas of contemporary relevance.

3. In keeping with their vision of the future of Sri Lanka – Pakistan
relations, the two leaders agreed that there is much scope to increase
cooperation and to further harness the enormous potential available
for consolidating and strengthening the bilateral partnership by
building on shared values, leveraging common concerns and interests,
enhancing connectivity between the two countries, increasing the
synergies of their economies and, reinforcing the institutional
framework for cooperation. Both leaders agreed on the need for an
increase in the frequency of high level visits between Sri Lanka and
Pakistan, including at the Summit level and at the level of the
Parliaments, especially based on Parliamentary Friendship Associations
established in each of the national Parliaments. The two leaders
witnessed the signing of the following:

a. Visa Abolition Agreement for holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports ;
b. Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation ;
c. Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in
Customs Matters ;
d. Agreement on Co-operation in the field of Arts & Creative Studies
between the National College of Arts of Pakistan and the University of
Visual and Performing Arts of Sri Lanka.

4. The President of Pakistan conveyed his felicitations to President
Rajapaksa on the decisive defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, after many
years of conflict. President Rajapaksa who reiterated appreciation for
the assistance provided by Pakistan during Sri Lanka’s fight against
terrorism, also elaborated on the steps taken by the Government to
return normalcy to the country, after a 30 year conflict. Both leaders
condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and agreed to
strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism.

5. The President of Pakistan expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka’s
humanitarian assistance during unprecedented floods in Pakistan in
July- August this year.

6. Both leaders agreed to promote a dialogue on security and defence
issues relevant to their bilateral relationship, including through
high-level contacts between Defence Forces and the training of
Security Forces personnel.

7. Both leaders agreed to promote active cooperation in countering the
menace of narcotics and illicit trafficking of narcotic substances and
to establish mechanisms and modalities for such cooperation.

8. Both leaders directed that officials of the respective Finance /
Economic Ministries should meet soon to discuss measures to promote
trade between the two countries, including through the extension of
innovative lines of credit and/or barter.

9. Both leaders expressed satisfaction that the Free Trade Agreement
signed in 2002, has significantly enhanced bilateral trade. Pakistan
is now Sri Lanka’s second largest trading partner in South Asia. They
observed in this regard that the Agreement on Co-operation and Mutual
Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters signed during the visit,
is bound to facilitate the trade in goods. The two leaders noted that
the undoubted potential for greater investment and joint ventures
between the two countries should be leveraged for expanded
collaboration, including in the sugar production and cement
manufacturing sectors. It was also resolved to encourage collaboration
between the two countries in the gem and jewellery industry.

10. Both leaders agreed to promote cooperation between the two
countries in the financial and banking sectors and to establish close
links between the Chambers of Commerce of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

11. The President of Sri Lanka and the President of Pakistan
reiterated their mutual commitment to greater bilateral economic
cooperation. In this context, both leaders agreed to hold the 10th
Session of the Joint Economic Commission, which is co-Chaired at
Ministerial level in the first quarter of 2011 in order to fashion a
fuller agenda of bilateral cooperation in various fields. It was
furthermore decided that Sri Lanka should receive at the earliest
possible an official level delegation from Pakistan, which would in
association with its Sri Lanka counterparts discuss and identify the
technical arrangements for follow-up on the understandings reached
between the two Presidents. The technical arrangements in turn would
facilitate the Joint Commission to agree on and issue the necessary
policy directives, for the further expansion of the bilateral economic
relationship.

12. The two leaders welcomed the signature of the Memorandum of
Understanding on Co-operation in Agriculture. They directed that the
provisions of the MoU should be utilized to build a strong bilateral
programme of collaboration in the Agriculture and Fisheries sectors,
including in food processing and fish processing.

13. The President of Pakistan expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka’s
offer to assist the Health and Education Sectors in Pakistan, through
extending training of trainers of nurses and teachers of Mathematics
and Science.

14. Welcoming the growing connectivity between the two countries, the
two leaders called for greater cooperation in tourism and the
promotion of people–to–people contacts, as well as the increase of
direct flights and the establishment of direct shipping services.

15. The leaders agreed to work together as appropriate to preserve and
promote the respective national civilizational heritages and
treasures, including the rich Gandhara heritage. The President of
Pakistan offered to hold an exhibition on the Gandhara Civilization in
Colombo in cooperation with the Sri Lanka Government to mark the
2600th Year of the Attainment of Enlightenment of Lord Buddha,
(Sambuddhatva Jayanthi). The President of Sri Lanka welcomed this
offer which would increase among the people of the two countries, a
better awareness of the aspects of cultural heritage shared by both
nations. The President of Sri Lanka also welcomed that in response to
the invitation of the President of Pakistan, a delegation of Buddhist
monks and scholars would visit Gandhara, under the facilitation of the
Pakistan authorities.

16 .Recognizing the immense potential that exists in the two countries
to tap knowledge as a driver of economic and social advancement, the
two leaders agreed that the two countries should enhance links in the
educational sector. The initiative by Pakistan to set up a Chair on
Urdu and Pakistan Studies in a University in Sri Lanka, was therefore
welcomed.

17. The leaders reiterated the importance of continuing to work
together in regional and international fora.

18. Recalling the deliberations at the 16th SAARC Summit in Thimphu,
the two leaders agreed to work towards the full realization of the
vision of the Thimphu Silver Jubilee Declaration.

19. Both leaders expressed their satisfaction at the outcome of the
State Visit by the President of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, which provided
further testimony of the continuing excellent relations between the
two countries-news.lk

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Written by lankamuslim.com

December 1, 2010 at 5:30 am

Posted in News

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