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* Pakistan, Sri Lanka agree to enhance defense cooperation
Fri, Aug 29, 2014, 07:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 29, Colombo: Chief of Air Staff, Pakistan Air Force, Air Chief Marshal, Tahir Rafique Butt Staff called on Sri Lankan Secretary Defense and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence in Colombo on Thursday and discussed ways to strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries.

During the meeting, a cordial discussion was held between Secretary Defense and Air Chief Marshal Butt on matters of bilateral cooperation and mutual interest.

Mementoes were also exchanged between Secretary Defence and Pakistan's Air Chief to mark the occasion.

Commander of the Sri Lankan Air Force Air Marshal Kolitha Gunathilake, Air Commodore Hamid Rashid Randhawa and Defence Attaché of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Colonel Muhammad Rajil Irshad Khan were also present at the occasion.

The Air Chief, who is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka, also met his Sri Lankan counterpart, Air Marshal KA Gunatilleke. During the meeting it was agreed to enhance the cooperation between the two Air Forces and new dimensions be given to already existing friendly relations.

Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt assured his counterpart of sustained support and cooperation in the fields of technical training and professional expertise.

In a subsequent development Air Chief Marshal Tahir Rafique Butt also held meetings on matters of professional interests with Commander Sri Lankan Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake and Commander of Sri Lankan Navy Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera at their respective services headquarters.

Talks that followed with the Sri Lanka Army Commander largely centered on bilateral cooperation and matters of mutual interest to both organizations.

During his three day visit Air Chief Marshal Butt is also scheduled to call on Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Since independence, Sri Lanka and Pakistan have consistently maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relations especially in the field of defense. Both nations have assisted each other during testing times in their histories. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have comprehensive and mutually beneficial training collaboration for Army, Navy and Air Force.

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