Pakistan, Sri Lanka emphasise on making SAARC more vibrant to promote regional connectivity

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COLOMBO: Pakistan and Sri Lanka have emphasised on making South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) more vibrant to promote regional connectivity and reiterated the resolve for mutual cooperation at all international and regional forums.

The understanding reached at a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Sri Lankan Counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo on Wednesday.

Dinesh Gunawardena warmly received the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka. 

During the meeting, they exchanged views on bilateral relations, promoting cooperation in various sectors, and other matters of regional and international importance.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan indicates that Pakistan is eager to expand bilateral relations with Sri Lanka.

Pakistan Foreign Minister stressed the need for expanding Free Trade Agreement to enhance bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship programme of Belt and Road Initiative of China and the entire region can benefit from this project for the promotion of economic activities. 

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said enhancing connectivity between Gwadar Port and Sri Lankan ports will help provide easy access to business centers of Central Asian states. He also called for promoting religious tourism, keeping in view the cultural and traditional ties between the two countries.

Both the foreign ministers expressed the resolve to continue common efforts for the promotion of bilateral cooperation in the sectors of trade, investment, health, education, agriculture, science and technology and other fields of mutual interest.

They agreed to further enhance bilateral cooperation for the development of human resources, regional security and war against terrorism.

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