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Iranian Foreign Minister Holds Official Meeting with Sri Lankan President

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Hossein Amir Abdollahian, currently on an official visit to Sri Lanka, met with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday (20) at the President’s Office in Colombo.

During the meeting, the Iranian Foreign Minister and his Sri Lankan counterpart, Ali Sabry PC, conducted a joint media briefing in Colombo. Minister Sabry reported that their discussions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs covered various key areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, and cultural collaboration.

Minister Sabry expressed gratitude for the 50 million US Dollar loan from the Government of Iran for the Uma Oya multipurpose development project. He highlighted that once completed, the Uma Oya project will fulfill 55% of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs at the lowest operational cost in the country.

Addressing the settlement of outstanding payments from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to the National Iranian Oil Company, Minister Sabry noted the successful implementation, which facilitates the export of Ceylon tea to Iran.

At the joint press briefing, Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian praised the strong relationship between Iran and Sri Lanka. He announced the imminent opening of a power plant with a capacity of 120 MW, a joint development by Iranian and Sri Lankan companies.

Dr. Amir-Abdollahian also congratulated Sri Lanka on assuming the chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and commended the country as a major tourist destination for Iranians, with over 120,000 Iranian tourists visiting Sri Lanka last year. He extended an invitation for Sri Lankans to visit Iran.

The Iranian Foreign Minister expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka’s support in the UN General Assembly resolution against the Israeli regime’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank.

During his visit, Dr. Amir-Abdollahian also met with Prime Minister Dinesh Gunwardena at the Temple Trees on Tuesday (20). The Prime Minister’s Office disclosed that Iran agreed to offset payment of US$ 250 million for crude oil against tea imports from Sri Lanka under a barter trade agreement.

Minister Amir Abdollahian’s official visit, extending from 19-21 February 2024, aims to strengthen diplomatic ties and partnership between Iran and Sri Lanka, as highlighted by State Foreign Minister Tharaka Balasuriya.

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