Pakistan President to visit Sri Lanka

Diplomatic contacts are under way between to finalise dates and a programme.

Last Updated: Nov 07, 2010, 15:25 PM IST

Colombo: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will be making a maiden visit to Sri Lanka later this month during which he will discuss with his counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa cooperation on security and trade issues.

Zardari will become the first head of state to visit Sri Lanka after President Rajapaksa assumes duties for his second term of office on November 19.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will be accompanying Zardari. A trade and business delegation will be a part of the Pakistani delegation.

Diplomatic contacts are now under way between Colombo and Islamabad to finalise the dates and a programme for the visit of Zardari, Ministry of External Affairs officials said.

State-run Sunday Observer said one of the objectives of Zardari`s visit is to congratulate President Rajapaksa who has recorded overwhelming victory.

Pakistan is a key supplier of small arms to Sri Lanka and also offers training to its security personnel.

Rajapaksa has regularly praised Pakistan for the support the country has extended in the military campaign against Tiger rebels, the newspaper said.

Leading players in Pakistan`s business and industry had expressed interest to invest in various projects in Sri Lanka. Some of them want to explore the possibility of establishing projects in east Sri Lanka besides other locations.

PTI