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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2862

Iran vows to bolster friendly ties with Sri Lanka

Tehran, 27 November, ( Sri Lanka
President Mahinda Rajapakse and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad yesterday held wide ranging bilateral talks in Tehran.
President Rajapakse was earlier greeted by President Ahmedinejad and accorded a Guard of Honour. Mahinda Rajapakse with  Mahmoud AhmedinejadMahinda Rajapakse with Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

Soon afterwards, the two leaders began bilateral talks which focused on economic, political and social issues affecting the two countries. They stressed the need to strengthen the traditional friendship between the two nations.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that all countries in the region wish to see a developed and powerful Sri Lanka.

Ahmadinejad made the remark in a ceremony held to officially welcome his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapkse in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad voiced support for stability, independence and unity in Sri Lanka and said this would benefit the countries of the region.

The two leaders also discussed the possibility of granting Iranian assistance to the oil refinery project, Uma Oya project and the development of railways and transport. Tourism cooperation was also discussed. They also discussed the bilateral pacts due to be signed by the two countries on economic cooperation.

It was also pointed out that more Ceylon Tea could be exported to Iran, one of the leading buyers of Lankan teas.
The Iranian President pledged his fullest cooperation to Sri lanka's developmentIn Tehran  Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse  inspects the Guard of Honor accorded to him  along with   Iranian President Mahmoud AhmedinejadIn Tehran Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse inspects the Guard of Honor accorded to him along with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad

Iran and Sri Lanka enjoy historical and cultural commonalties and there are huge economic and cultural capabilities which can be used to further bolster and broaden mutual relations, Ahmadinejad said.

Both Iran and Sri Lanka advocate peace, friendship and brotherhood in the world, he said, adding that it is necessary that the two sides' political ties should be at the same level as their economic and commercial relations.

There is very good understanding between the two countries which paves the way for expansion of all-out ties between the two states, Ahmadinejad said.

He expressed the hope that the visit of the Sri Lankan president to Tehran would be a big step towards broadening ties between the two countries.

The Sri Lankan President, for his part, expressed satisfaction with his current visit to Tehran and said Sri Lanka considers Iran as its real friend.

President Rajapakse expressed his gratitude to the Iranian President for Iran's assistance during and after the tsunami tragedy. He recalled that emergency assistance was followed by long-term assistance to rehabilitate tsunami-stricken areas.

Referring to the conflict in Sri Lanka, the President told the Iranian leader that a group of terrorists were engaged in anti-democratic acts in a part of the country, including recruiting child soldiers. This has impeded development activities in the country, especially the North-East.

He apprised President Ahmadinejad on the peace efforts of the Government.

Given the two sides potentials in various fields, Iran and Sri Lanka can further broaden ties, he said.

Sri Lanka politically supports Iran at international fora, he said.
He also thanked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his country's cooperation in extending Sri Lankan oil refinery.

- Asian Tribune -

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