PM Khan First Head of Govt. to Visit Sri Lanka After the Pandemic, Will Address Parliament

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MOHAMMED RASOOLDEEN, COLOMBO: Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, who is due to arrive in Colombo February 23, is slated to address the Sri Lankan parliament on the following day, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced at the Party Leaders Meeting held here on Monday.

PM Khan will be the first head of state to visit the country after Covid-19 pandemic when his two day official visit starts on February 23. Colombo has maintained close ties with Islamabad. Both countries are pursuing the goals of global peace and regional harmony.

DESPARDES

Premier Khan will be the third Pakistani prime minister to address the Lankan legislators after Pakistan’s former President Ayub Khan and Prime Minister (late) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Pakistan will host navies from 45 countries for a joint military exercise in the North Arabian Sea later this month. Sri Lanka, including the United States, China, Russia Britain, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and countries from the African Union are also among participants of the military exercise under the banner, “Together for Peace”.

DESPARDES

Former Indian Prime Minister Shri Jawaharlal Nehru was the first foreign dignitary to have made an address at the parliament in 1962. Former British Prime Minister Magaret Thatcher too had made a similar speech at a subsequent occasion. Indian Premier Narendra Modi had also addressed the parliament in 2015.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka consider maritime security not just important for themselves but for all other countries whose prosperity and progress are strongly bonded with the seas. Both nations’ extraordinary dependence on the seas for trade and operationalization of infrastructure projects developed with China’s financial and technical assistance make the maritime stability an “important agenda of their national security.

DESPARDES

Khan is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on February 23 on a two-day official visit to the island. He will hold talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

Colombo Times

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