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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2705

Sri Lanka Toes Indian Line on Iran: Sri Lanka Supports Iran’s Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy

At the press conference:  Iran - Sri Lanka leadersAt the press conference: Iran - Sri Lanka leadersDaya Gamage – US Bureau Asian Tribune – A News Analysis

Washington, D.C. 29 April (Asiantribune.com): Iranian news agency, Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), reported yesterday quoting Sri Lanka’s president Mahinda Rajapaksa that he “expressed his country's opposition to sending Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council and said Colombo supports Iran's right to use peaceful nuclear energy.”

This statement is in the heat of the Indian Foreign Ministry statement last week snubbing the U.S. State Department pronouncement on Monday 21 April by its spokesman Tom Casey that Indian Government or any government that was engaging with the Iranian, including with President Ahmadinejad, “would call on him to meet the requirements that the (UN) Security Council and the international community has placed on him in terms of suspending their uranium enrichment activities and complying with the other requirements regarding their nuclear program.”

In a very unusual statement by its Foreign Ministry, India totally rejected the conditions placed by the United States at April 21 State Department briefing that New Delhi should urge Iran to curtail its nuclear program during a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on April 29.

And in apparent reference to comments from US State Department spokesman Tom Casey, the Indian statement added: "Both nations are perfectly capable of managing all aspects of their relationship with the appropriate degree of care and attention.”

"Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral relations", a clear snub to Washington who generally dictates terms and conditions on other countries how to conduct their business.

It is in the heat of this political line taken by New Delhi that Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa “expressed his country's opposition to sending Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council and said Colombo supports Iran's right to use peaceful nuclear energy.”

Very indirect way, Sri Lanka too has to the West that "Neither country needs any guidance on the future conduct of bilateral relations".

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is on an official tour in Sri Lanka now and will leave for New Delhi on Wednesday for talks with the Indian leaders.

Following is the full news report carried in the Iranian IRNA:

(Begin Text)President Ahmadinejad and his Sri Lankan counterpart president Mahinda Rajapaksa presided Iran-Sri Lanka talks here Monday and underscored expansion of ties.

The two presidents after holding a one-hour private talk, attended the senior officials negotiation and expressed both countries' intention for developing and consolidating bilateral relations.

Expressing pleasure over executing former agreements, Ahmadinejad said Iran-Sri Lanka has a clear outlook for developing ties and added there is no obstacle for expansion of relations between the two countries.

Referring to the latest world developments, President Ahmadinejad noted that independent countries like Iran and Sri Lanka should be able to cooperate with each other to have a positive affect on current situation.

The president continued sustainable security can be achieved under a sustainable progress and justice.

He also praised Sri Lankan support for Palestine and added, "Nowadays, the Palestinian issue has turned into a criterion for defending democracy, human rights and the right of nations to determine their fate."

The Sri Lankan president also presented a report on his country's developing program and fight against terrorism and expressed his appreciation on Iran's help during Tsunami disaster.

He also said the results of joint investment between the two countries to build a refinery and dam and hydroelectric power plant caused acceleration of progress and development in Sri Lanka and added Colombo appreciated Tehran's cultural and educational assistance and also its international cooperation in the world bodies.

Rajapaksa expressed his country's opposition to sending Iran's nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council and said Colombo supports Iran's right to use peaceful nuclear energy. (End Text)

- Asian Tribune -

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