(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – All arrangements are in place to welcome Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) today (23).
Minister of Tourism Prasanna Ranatunga observed the rehearsals held yesterday at the BIA.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will be in Sri Lanka on a two-day official visit on the invitation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today and tomorrow (23, 24). This will be his first visit to Sri Lanka after assuming office, although he has visited Sri Lanka many times as a member and later Captain of the Pakistan cricket team.
The Pakistani Prime Minister’s programme includes meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Prime Minister will also lead the delegation-level talks, covering all areas of cooperation between the two countries including trade and investment, health and education, agriculture, science and technology, defence and security and culture, aviation and tourism.
Besides bilateral matters, views will be exchanged on key regional and international issues.
Several other high-level engagements are also planned, including a Business and Investment Forum, as well as a sports diplomacy initiative. Both Sri Lanka and Pakistan Prime Ministers will together preside over an event to sign several mutually beneficial bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) following their official talks at Temple Trees.
Prime Minister Imran Khan during his maiden official visit this year outside the country will be accompanied by a high-powered business and investment delegation that will comprise business leaders in Pakistan, mainly from the sectors of textile and apparel, pharmaceuticals, agro-food commodities, sports goods, gems and jewellery, auto parts, ICT, construction material and surgical equipment.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Secretary Foreign Affairs Sohail Mehmood and senior officials of the Pakistan Government.
During the visit, the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association will also be announced to further promote Parliamentary exchanges between the two countries.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka have maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations since 1948. The two countries share a commonality of views on a wide range of international and regional issues. Both sides also work closely at the international and regional fora including the United Nations and SAARC.
The Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit would help further strengthen the Pakistan-Sri Lanka relationship and enhance mutual cooperation in diverse fields. He is the first Head of State to visit Sri Lanka in 2021. All health precautions have been taken in view of the visit.