Colombo: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will be making a maiden visit to Sri Lanka in November as both the nations gear to step up their cooperation on security and trade issues, a foreign ministry official said Sunday.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will be accompanying Zardari on his visit to Colombo. A trade and business delegation will be a part of the Pakistani delegation. He will meeting President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Diplomatic contacts are now under way between Colombo and Islamabad to finalise the dates and a programme for the visit of Zardari, the official said.
However, Sunday Times said that he is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on November 24.
Pakistan is a key supplier of small arms to Sri Lanka and also offers training to its security personnel.
The two days of meetings will centre around security and trade cooperation between both countries, the official was quoted as saying by local media reports.
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, the newspaper added.
This will be President Zardari`s first visit to Sri Lanka since being elected to office on September 6, 2008, it said.