Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid and State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena separately at the Temple Trees in Colombo during their visit to represent their countries at the 75th Independence Anniversary celebrations. They discussed whole range of areas of bilateral relations and corporation and exchanged views on regional and international affairs during the discussions.
Prime Minister Gunawardena thanked the Ministers for their visit and said that such high level exchanges would result in further strengthening of bilateral relations and regional cooperation.
Maldivian Foreign Minister said the two countries could enhance cooperation in the tourism sector as they are popular tourist destinations. Prime Minister Gunawardena said there were several investments by Sri Lankan entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector in the Maldives and two countries could attract more foreign investors into this rapidly growing sector. The Minister thanked Sri Lanka for the assistance provided in the field of education and research and information technology.
Pakistani State Minister for Foreign Affairs discussed about trade facilitation, business and investment, cooperation in tourism and air connectivity. Prime Minister Gunawardena thanked Dr. Khar for the consistent support extended by Pakistan to Sri Lanka at the international forums including UNHRC.
She stressed the importance of regional cooperation in South Asia. “While all regional associations in Southeast Asia, the Gulf, Africa, Europe and elsewhere make rapid strides in cooperation for the benefit of their people, South Asia is lagging behind”, she said.Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, Senior officials of Foreign Ministries of Maldives and Pakistan and the two High Commissioners were present during the two meetings.