Daily News | 2 September 2009
Sri Lanka-Pakistan FTA to expand
The Free Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be further expanded to services and investment in keeping with a bilateral discussions between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, yesterday.
President Rajapaksa, who is on a visit to Libya to participate at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Al-Fateh Revolution on the invitation of Libyan leader Colonel Khaddafi , was met by Prime Minister Gilani on the sidelines of the anniversary celebrations to discuss bilateral relations and other regional and international matters of mutual interest.
The meeting was held in Tripoli, Libya where Gilani had reportedly told President Rajapaksa that Pakistan will share information with regard to what happened to Sri Lanka’s cricket team in Lahore once they complete the investigations into it.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister and the investigating official will visit Sri Lanka in this connection. Prime Minister Gilani discussed the prospects of enhanced bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan to establish trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
Gilani commended the President for liberating the country from terrorism.
" Sri Lanka has been exemplary considering how well its Government under President Rajapaksa’s leadership has carried out the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced victims of terrorism," he said. The two parties discussed how bilateral trade between the two countries have made a quantum leap after the Free Trade Agreement which was signed by the two parties in 2005.
The two sides also discussed cooperation in the field of aviation, with Sri Lanka seeking restoration of PIA flight operations to Colombo and increased landing rights.
President Rajapaksa also accepted an invitation by Prime Minister Gilani for an official visit to Pakistan.