Musharraf pledges support to end terrorism in Sri Lanka

April 11th, 2008 - 9:05 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, April 11 (IANS) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf Friday voiced his country’s support to Sri Lanka in the fight against terrorism. According to the president’s office here, Musharraf gave the assurance at a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa in China on the sidelines of the multilateral Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference.

“President Musharraf reiterated his country’s opposition to terrorism in all its manifestations and assured Sri Lanka of all assistance to defeat terrorism in the country,” an official source here said.

The president’s office said that the two leaders discussed bilateral issues, including trade and economic and defence co-operation.

Extending his condolences to Rajapaksa over the April 6 assassination of his cabinet minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the Pakistani president “condemned such acts of terror and underlined the need for its elimination”.

Congratulating Musharraf over his commitment to restore democracy in Pakistan, Rajapaksa “explained the actions being taken to defeat the terrorism of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) in Sri Lanka”.

The two presidents also agreed to the need to transform the existing Free Trade Agreement between the two countries to a Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Musharraf also thanked Rajapaksa for Sri Lanka’s support for Pakistan when “some member states” suspended it from the Commonwealth.

China and Pakistan are the two main military suppliers to Sri Lanka, where a dragging Tamil separatist campaign has left thousands dead.

The BFA conference is being held April 11-13 at Boao in China’s Hainan province. The theme this year is “Green Asia, Moving Towards Win-Win Through Changes”.

The BFA was set up in 2001 as a platform for high-level interaction between leaders from Asia and across the world and with the aim of promoting development goals of Asian countries through greater regional economic integration.

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