Pakistan PM in Sri Lanka to sign agreements, strengthen ties

AP News
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Posted: Jan 04, 2016 8:01 AM
Pakistan PM in Sri Lanka to sign agreements, strengthen ties

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday started a three-day visit to Sri Lanka during which several agreements aiming to strengthen relations between the south Asian nations are to be signed.

Sharif was welcomed by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and he and his delegation will talk with President Maithripala Sirisena and other officials on Tuesday.

Separately he will make a speech on Sri Lanka-Pakistan relations. Several bilateral agreements in the areas of health, science and technology, trade, money laundering and terrorism financing are to be signed.

Pakistan grew closer to Sri Lanka during the island nation's civil war by supplying arms to fight the Tamil Tiger rebels when its closest neighbor India refused to sell arms.

The rebels sought an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils and India maintained a hands-off approach to avoid backlash from its own Tamil community.

Sri Lankan troops defeated the rebels in 2009.