Pakistan offers $50m new credit line to Sri Lanka for defence cooperation


Pakistan has presented a $50 million new credit line to Sri Lanka for cooperation in the field of defence and security.

A joint communique issued by the foreign ministries of the two countries from Colombo and Islamabad on Wednesday said that the statement was made by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who concluded his two-day official visit to Sri Lanka.

Both sides called for stronger cooperation in areas related to security, terrorism, organized crime and drug and narcotics trafficking as well as intelligence-sharing, according to the joint communique. They also noted that the elevation of staff-level talks to defence dialogue had provided an opportunity to expand security sector relations.

In order to strengthen sports diplomacy, Pakistan would provide Rs52 million for promotion of sports in Sri Lanka, according to the communique. Prime Minister Khan at an interactive session with the sports community of Sri Lanka announced the commissioning of the Imran Khan High Performance Sports Centre in Colombo.

Pakistan also said it has plans to establish Asian Civilisation and Culture Centre at the University of Peradeniya at the Sri Lankan resort of Kandy.

The visit afforded a timely opportunity to both sides to build upon their regular consultations in the areas identified during the recently held foreign secretary-level bilateral political consultations, joint economic commission session, and the commerce secretary-level talks, the joint communique said.

Pakistan also announced 100 scholarships in the field of medicines (MBBS and BDS) as part of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation programme.

During the visit, the prime minister held delegation-level meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa. PM Khan reiterated Pakistan’s support for the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka in line with the vision of a peaceful neighbourhood. The two sides reviewed the extensive engagement in promoting cultural linkages, human resource development and capacity building in diverse areas besides educational and technological cooperation.

The memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed during the visit include

  • MoU on cooperation in tourism,
  • MoU between the Boards of Investment,
  • MoU between Sri Lanka’s Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) and Karachi University’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences,
  • Intent of cooperation between ITI and Comsats University Islamabad and
  • MoU between University of Colombo and Lahore School of Economics.
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