Pakistan, Sri Lanka sign nuclear agreement

Published: April 6, 2015
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Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Sri Sena witness signing of MoUs between the two countries at the PM House on Monday, April 6, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Sri Sena witness signing of MoUs between the two countries at the PM House on Monday, April 6, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Sri Lankan President Sri Sena witness signing of MoUs between the two countries at the PM House on Monday, April 6, 2015. PHOTO: PID Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shakes hands with Sri Lankan President Mathripala Sri Sena at the PM House in Islamabad on Monday, April 6, 2015. PHOTO: PID

Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed six agreements, including one on atomic energy, on Monday, the two countries’ leaders said, as the strategically important island looks to build its first nuclear plant.

Details of the agreement were not immediately available but it comes after Sri Lanka signed a pact with India in February to build its atomic energy infrastructure, including training of personnel.

Sri Lanka’s new president Maithripala Sirisena swept to power in January, ending a decade of rule by Mahinda Rajapakse, and has moved to reduce China’s influence in his country, which had irked India.

The Sri Lankan president elaborated the agreements pertained to enhance economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

“The agreements pertain to advancing cooperation in disaster management, sports, shipping, socio-economic development, education and narcotics control,” he said.

The six MoUs signed are as follows:

1) Cooperation between Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and Atomic Energy Authority of Sri Lanka

2) Agreement on cooperation against illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances

3) Academic cooperation agreement on exchange and collaboration between National Defence University of Pakistan and Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies of Sri Lanka

4) Collaboration in the field of Sports

5) Mutual cooperation in shipping business between Pakistan National Shipping Corporation(PNSC) and the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd (CSCL)

6) Cooperation on disaster management

Speaking at a press conference with  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sirisena said, “At critical moments in our post-independent histories we have stood in solidarity with each other,” adding he was “profoundly grateful for the strong support in the fight against terrorism” by Pakistan.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka have traditionally enjoyed strong ties, particularly over defence, with Islamabad providing military assistance during the war against Tamil Tiger guerrillas that ended in 2009.

Pakistan currently has three operational nuclear plants generating a total of around 740 MW of power and has begun work on two more, including a 2,200-megawatt station to be built with Chinese technical assistance on the Arabian Sea coast at Paradise Beach, 40 kilometres west of Karachi.

Earlier PM Nawaz had spoken of his desire to improve trade and economic relations.

Sirisena will also meet Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain during his visit and is due to leave Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan president arrived in Islamabad on Sunday on a three-day state visit and was given a red carpet welcome at the PM House.

A guard of honour was presented to him and the national anthems of both the countries were also played on the occasion.

Read: Sri Lankan president to arrive in Pakistan on April 5 for first state visit

The two heads of states discussed ways to enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields while focusing mainly on trade. Regional and international issues of mutual interest were also part of the discussions.

Read: Sri Lankan president arrives in Pakistan on three-day state visit

This is Sirisena’s first visit to Pakistan since becoming the newly elected president of Sri Lanka.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Apr 6, 2015 - 5:10PM

    i don’t thinks that is impossible Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 6, 2015 - 6:19PM

    Good move.Recommend

  • Blithe
    Apr 6, 2015 - 7:34PM

    Great move!

    I love Sri Lankans and we need to always build on this relationship . Recommend

  • srivan
    Apr 7, 2015 - 1:45AM

    Both countries can learn a lot from each other on disaster creation and management! Recommend

  • observer
    Apr 7, 2015 - 2:41AM

    Pakistan and SL sign nuclear agreement. What does this actually mean? Does it mean Pakistan is again starting to sell nuke technology by activating the old “AQ Khan network”? Recommend

  • Rameez
    Apr 7, 2015 - 4:41AM

    The SL president’s name is spelled incorrectly in the image caption. Recommend

  • Weirdity
    Apr 7, 2015 - 7:35AM

    @Rameez:
    Understandable mistake. His name is not in familiar Arabic.Recommend

  • raider
    Apr 7, 2015 - 7:44AM

    A country whose peoples reside in slums and having had justice to be purchased by them rather to be dispensed to them without any cost is making nuclear deals with others, hilariousRecommend

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