ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday said Pakistan attached great importance to its bilateral relations with Sri Lanka as both countries always stood by each other in difficult times. 

The Foreign Minister stated this in a meeting with Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Pakistan Vice Admiral (retired) Mohan Vijay Vikrama, who called on him here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the meeting, various issues of mutual interest were discussed, including the promotion of bilateral relations.

FM Qureshi said Pakistan considered SAARC as an important platform for promoting economic development in the region and desired it's more active role to ensure peace and stability. The foreign minister congratulated the Sri Lankan ambassador on assuming the office of High Commissioner and hoped that it  would further enhance bilateral cooperation in various fields. 

The foreign minister extended felicitations to Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his party on the remarkable victory in recent elections in his country and wished them well.

The foreign minister also recalled his visit to Sri Lanka last December and his meetings with the country's leadership.

He stressed the need for exchange of high-level delegations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan High Commissioner thanked the foreign minister for his good wishes and acknowledged that Pakistan always stood by Sri Lanka in difficult times.