Pakistan, Sri Lanka defence ties discussed

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COLOMBO: Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army Lieutenant General A.W.J.C De Silva met in Colombo here on Saturday.
During the meeting they discussed matters of professional interest and ways and means for further enhancing bilateral defence ties with particular reference to mutually benefiting from each other’s experience in fighting terrorism.
Sri Lankan Army chief praised Pakistan army for its professionalism and successes in Operation Zarb-e-Azb for bringing peace and stability in the region.
General De Silva thanked General Raheel Sharif for timely and much needed support during Koslandawatta-Meeriyabedda devastating mudslide in Budhala, Sri Lanka last year. 
 Earlier, on arrival at Army Headquarters, General Raheel Sharif was presented guard of honour by a smartly turned out contingent of Sri Lankan army.
General Raheel Sharif was also given detailed briefing about operational and training aspects of Srilankan army.
General Raheel Sharif also called on Commander Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral SAMJ Perera at Naval Headquarters and discussed matters of mutual interest.
Military salutes, including a Guard of Honour and a Guard Turnout formally saluted General Raheel Sharif, Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan Army who is currently on tour in Sri Lanka at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart when he visited the Army Headquarters.
A colour-rich Guard of Honour at the Ministry of Defence grounds presented arms and saluted the visiting Army Chief on arrival in accordance with military traditions after a Guard Turnout greeted him, ISPR reported. 
"General Raheel Sharif and Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva shared views on several current issues that are relevant to both organizations and the countries at large." 
Discussions were largely centered on ongoing training programmes for Sri Lanka Army Officers and possibilities of initiating new bilateral training exercises for Special Forces, etc in the future. 
The visiting army chief maintained that possibilities for further enhancements of training openings could be explored during the forthcoming Staff Talks in August. 
Major General Jagath Dias, Chief of Staff and Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Military Secretary were also associated with the talks.
Before his exit from the Commander’s Office, Pakistan Army Chief received a full briefing on the Sri Lanka Army Training modules from Major General B. Aruna Perera, Director General General Staff. Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff, Commandant, Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force and several Directors were associated with the presentation of the briefing to the visiting Pakistan’s Army Chief.
Gen Sharif was invited to leave memories by signing the VIP visitors’ book at the Commander’s Office. Exchange of token mementoes between both Army Chiefs brought the formal visit to an end.

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