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The Hon. Prime Minister of Pakistan, H.E. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, delivered an address on ‘Pakistan-Sri Lanka Relations’ at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel on 5 January 2016, under the auspices of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.
His Excellency addressed several facets of the relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, including their historical relations, democracies, economic relations, and roles in regional peace and security.
The following are excerpts from the Hon. Prime Minister’s wide-ranging address:
“Being vibrant democracies, the role of Parliament in promotion of friendship and cooperation between two nations is important. It is satisfying that Pakistan-Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Groups exist in our respective Parliaments. I would like to see greater exchanges between our Parliaments, so as to learn from each other’s experiences.
Sri Lanka enjoys the exceptional position of being the first country with which Pakistan entered into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The present volume of trade, (approx. US $325 million) however, does not reflect the vast potential available in our respective economies. When President Sirisena visited Pakistan in April 2015, we decided to set a bilateral trade target of US $ 1 billion. To realise this objective, both countries have to work with greatest resolve and commitment.
Sri Lanka enjoys a key position in the Indian Ocean and has much to offer in terms of maritime cooperation and maintenance of peace and security in the Indian Ocean region.
(Images courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)