Pakistan President calls for stronger ties with Sri Lanka

Thursday, 1 December 2011 00:05 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Islamabad: President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday said his country greatly values the ties with Sri Lanka and called for further strengthening those ties based on mutual trust and shared interests in maintaining regional peace, security and stability.

President Zardari Tuesday met with Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetilleke at his official residence in Islamabad.

During the meeting, the President of Pakistan has expressed the satisfaction over security cooperation between the two countries and pointed out the need to forge a strong relationship with the island nation due to its unique location in the region.

“The challenge for the two countries is to translate our equation into economic terms for the benefit of the people,” Zardari has said.

The Pakistani leader has also noted the need to reinforce the institutional framework for the two countries to enhance trade ties and take advantage of each other’s expertise in various fields.

Both countries need to join hands for achieving shared objective and to make the region a hub of economic prosperity and social development, he has said.

The recent Joint Economic Council meeting and subsequent Technical Level meeting for Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement would motivate to enhance economic ties, the President has observed.

The President has thanked the Sri Lankan Government’s support, especially, for assisting Pakistan in combating dengue fever in Punjab.

Air Chief Marshal Goonetilleke has appreciated the support, especially, military assistance given to Sri Lanka by Pakistan during Sri Lanka’s decades-long war.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner in Islamabad Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody, Major General NJ Walgama and group Captain JA Nanayakkara accompanied Air Chief Marshal Goonetilleke.

The CDS has also called on Pakistani Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Khalid Shameem Wynne and discussed matters related to emerging Geo-Strategic environment of the region with a special emphasis on South Asia, Associate Press of Pakistan reported.

The Sri Lankan CDS appreciated the role played by the Armed Forces of Pakistan in fight against terror and thanked Pakistan for rendering support during different programmmes of Defence Cooperation and mutual exchanges, the report said.