Newly-elected Sri Lankan President accepts Imran Khan’s invite to visit Pakistan: Report
Srilankan newly appointed President Gotabaya Rajapaksha accepted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s invitation to visit his country, according to Pakistan High Commission in Colombo on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Khan spoke to President Rajapaksa over the phone to congratulate him on his electoral win and invited him to visit Pakistan at his earliest convenience, PTI reported.
The Sri Lankan President will first travel to India on November 29 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said on Tuesday. This is likely to be his first official visit abroad after assuming office.
Jaishankar arrived in Colombo on Tuesday on an unannounced two-day visit. He became the first foreign dignitary to call on President Rajapaksa.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first foreign leaders who congratulated Gotabaya, a former Defence Secretary and the younger brother of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on his electoral victory.
In a congratulatory message, Modi said: “Congratulations Gotabaya Rajapaksa on your victory. I look forward to working closely with you for deepening the close and fraternal ties between our two countries and citizens, and for peace, prosperity as well as security in our region.” Modi also later telephoned the younger Rajapaksa and congratulated him.
In response, Gotabaya tweeted: “I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for your warm wishes. Our two nations are bound by history and common beliefs and I look forward to strengthening our friendship and meeting you in the near future.”
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stormed to victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, the result of which was declared on Sunday.
Rajapaksa conducted a nationalist campaign with a promise of security and a vow to crush religious extremism in the Buddhist-majority country following the April 21 suicide bomb attacks blamed on a homegrown terror group.
Three luxury hotels and three churches were targeted in the coordinated bombings. ISIS also claimed responsibility for the attack, which left 45 foreigners dead.