Colombo: November 13, 2013 -Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will be arriving in Sri Lanka on Thursday, 14 November, 2013 to represent Pakistan at the 53 member Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), scheduled from 13-17 November, 2013.
Besides attending the Inaugural, Executive and Retreat Sessions of the Summit, the Prime Minister will meet several world leaders on the sidelines of the four- day moot. His interactions with the Heads of Governments of Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand have been scheduled.
In view of the special relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris made a personal call on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on 23rd August to hand over President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s letter of invitation to attend CHOGM Summit.
Prime Minister’s delegation will also include Ms Anusha Rahman Ahmad Khan, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom, Syed Tariq Fatemi, Special Assistant to Prime Minister and Mr. Jalil Abbasi Jilani, Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s participation in the Summit is highly significant as it would strengthen Pakistan’s relationship with Commonwealth that has always supported democracy in Pakistan.
The Commonwealth leaders who meet every two years represent world’s largest and smallest, richest and poorest countries which are home to two billion citizens of all faiths and ethnicity.
The CHOGM provides a unique forum to pursue trade and investment opportunities, strengthen people-to-people links and promote shared values.
This year’s event with the theme “Growth with Equity; Inclusive Development” will provide an opportunity for Commonwealth leaders to meet in Sri Lanka to discuss world issues relevant to building a strong and secure future for all.
The Forum will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to contribute and present key policy recommendations to CHOGM; learn about new business and investment opportunities; conduct business with other international partners; network with key government and business leaders; and influence the debate on important trade and investment issues.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will host the Heads of Government Meeting and take over as Chair for next two years till the next CHOGM Summit in 2015.
While commenting on Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj Gen (R) Qasim Qureshi hoped that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit would not only enhance Pakistan’s standing amongst Commonwealth nations but would also open up new vistas of cooperation between Pakistan and Sri Lanka.