COLOMBO - Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had a meeting with President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Thursday.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Rajapaksa discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation, situation in the region and international matters of mutual interest.

Nawaz also felicitated the government and people of Sri Lanka over the hosting of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), commencing in the Sri Lankan capital on Friday (today).

Earlier, Prime Minister Sharif congratulated the government and people of Sri Lanka for hosting important Commonwealth Summit in their country.

In his special message on the occasion of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, he expressed his confidence in the leadership of Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa and said that Commonwealth would become a stronger and more cohesive organisation under his leadership, said a Press release received here.

The Prime Minister will represent Pakistan at the Commonwealth Summit alongwith his delegation including Begum Kulsoom Nawaz Sharif, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom, Anusha Rahman and Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbasi Jilani.  

The Prime Minister reaffirmed that Pakistan, being a democracy and a responsible member of the global community, subscribed to the work of the Commonwealth for promoting peace through international cooperation and poverty alleviation through sustainable economic and social development.

Theme of this year's Summit "Growth with Equity-Inclusive Development', is therefore, highly relevant, he added.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recalled that he had represented Pakistan in the Harare Summit in 1991, where the landmark declaration was adopted setting out the core principles and values of the Commonwealth.

"Commonly known as the "Harare Principles", these values and principles encompassing democracy, freedom, peace, the rule of law, respect for human rights and opportunity for all, serve as a binding force amongst its member states," he added.

Pakistan is one of the eight founding members of the Commonwealth, which signed the London Declaration of April 1949.

Pakistan makes annual contributions to five heads of the Commonwealth namely Commonwealth Secretariat (COMSEC), Commonwealth Foundation (CF), Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC), Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).