Imran Khan Photograph:( Reuters )
The prime minister will be holding delegation-level talks with the president and prime minister of Sri Lanka
Prime Minister Imran Khan will be the first Head of Government to visit Sri Lanka after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office last year. The Prime Minister will visit Sri Lanka on February 23 and 24.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement confirming the visit of the Prime Minister saying that bilateral talks would cover issues of trade and investment, health and education, agriculture and science and technology, defence and security, and culture and tourism. Key regional and international issues would also be discussed.
“During the visit, the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association will be announced to further promote parliamentary exchanges between the two countries,” the statement said.
Mr Khan will also participate in a joint ‘Trade and Investment Conference’.
A number of memorandums of understanding to enhance bilateral cooperation will also be signed during the visit.
The prime minister was earlier scheduled to address the Sri Lankan parliament but the event was cancelled last night. The Sri Lankan government and the Pakistani government both maintained that the visit will undertake with the necessary Covid-19 protocols.
The prime minister will be holding delegation-level talks with the president and prime minister of Sri Lanka. During the visit, PM Khan will also be inaugurating a sports complex in Colombo.
Accompanying him in his high-level delegation would be the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Advisor on Trade and Commerce Razzaq Dawood. The prime mnister during his visit to Sri Lanka would be focusing on cultural tourism.
President Rajapaksa is familiar with Pakistan where he attended courses in military training institutions.
In a tweet, Sri Lankan President said that he looks forward to welcoming Pakistani Prime Minister and said that, “this visit will further reinforce our bilateral relationship and pave way for joint ventures that mutually benefit both our nations”.
Khan’s visit comes at a time when Sri Lanka has been balancing its act with immediate neighbours India & China and Pakistan known to be an all-weather China ally