COLOMBO – Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday apprised his Sri Lankan counterpart Dinesh Gunawardena about the “dire situation” in Kashmir as the two leaders met here and discussed issues including bilateral trade, investment and tourism.
Qureshi arrived in Colombo on Sunday night on a two-day official visit to Sri Lanka during which he will meet the country’s newly-elected leadership and convey to it a felicitation message of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
According to Pakistan Foreign Office, Qureshi will call on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and felicitate them.
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said on Monday that Qureshi and Gunawardena discussed a range of issues and both the leaders were keen to strengthen the entire gamut of bilateral relations.
“FM received by FM of Sri Lanka. Trade, investment, tourism, people to people contacts, among others, discussed in detail. Both countries very keen to further deepen and strengthen the entire gamut of bilateral relations,” Faisal said in a tweet.
“FM also briefed his Sri Lankan counterpart on the dire situation and human rights crisis” in Jammu and Kashmir, he said.
Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Speaking to the media after the discussion, Qureshi termed his meeting with the Sri Lankan counterpart as “excellent” and extended an invitation to Gunawardena to visit Islamabad.
Prime Minister Khan has invited President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to visit Islamabad at his “earliest convenience”.