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COLOMBO: Pakistan and Sri Lanka have pledged to realize the goal of achieving one billion dollars bilateral trade target and also agreed to work towards broadening and deepening of Pakistan Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement.

In a Joint Communiqué, issued in Colombo on Wednesday, on the two-day visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to Sri Lanka, the two sides reached broad consensus on ways and means to further strengthen cooperation in diverse fields.

Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan's support for the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka in line with the vision of a peaceful neighborhood.

The two sides reviewed the extensive engagement that exists between the two countries in promoting cultural linkages, human resource development, and capacity building in diverse areas as well as educational and technical cooperation.

The Pakistan side announced 100 scholarships in the field of medicines (MBBS and BDS) for Sri Lankan students.

While realizing the existence of great potential of religious tourism to Buddhist archaeological sites and noting the close ancient and cultural ties dating back to Gandhara civilization, the two sides underscored the importance of enhancing cooperation in the field of tourism and highlighted the benefits of sharing expertise in the hospitality industry, including training and capacity building. The Pakistan side announced its initiative of establishing Asian Civilization and Culture Centre at University of Peradeniya, Kandy.

Both sides recognized the importance of enhancing air connectivity to promote people-to-people contact, tourism, trade and culture.

They expressed satisfaction at the existing bilateral cooperation in the field of defence and noted that the elevation of staff-level talks to Defence Dialogue has further provided an opportunity to expand security sector relations. Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a new 50 million dollars' defence credit line facility.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Sri Lankan Counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa jointly acknowledged the reconstitution of the Sri Lanka-Pakistan Parliamentary Friendship Association. Both sides underscored the need to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the two sides.

Both sides reiterated their commitment to the principles and objectives of the SAARC Charter and stressed the need of SAARC Member countries to build on convergences, for greater good of the people in the region. They stressed the need to convene the Charter Based bodies and agreed to take forward the SAARC process for further strengthening regional cooperation to achieve prosperity in the region.

The two sides reaffirmed their joint commitment to regional peace, security and stability. Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the need for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes through constructive dialogue in accordance with international legitimacy.

In the context of regional connectivity, Prime Minister Imran Khan highlighted the opportunities presented by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for regional economic growth and prosperity.

The two sides underscored the need for collective efforts to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka thanked Pakistan for the tremendous assistance extended to the repatriation of stranded Sri Lankans in Pakistan since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic.

The Sri Lankan Prime Minister thanked Pakistan for its constant support to safeguard the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of his country.

The Pakistan Prime Minister performed the commissioning of the "Imran Khan High Performance Sports Centre" in Colombo.

The Pakistan side announced its decision to provide 52 million rupees for promotion of sports in Sri Lanka, including through training and equipment.

During the visit, five Memorandums of Understanding were signed between the two countries.

Imran Khan thanked Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation. He also extended an invitation to the President and the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka to visit Pakistan at their earliest convenience.