Sunday, May 19, 2024

Indian Ocean Region to benefit from Iran-Sri Lanka cooperation: Raisi

President Ebrahim Raisi has stated improved relations between Iran and Sri Lanka in various fields would benefit the two countries and the Indian Ocean region.

Raisi made the remarks in a joint press conference with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the Island nation’s capital of Colombo on Wednesday.

He said that Iran is ready to supply technical and engineering services to Sri Lanka to help the country boost its economic and industrial infrastructure.

The president made the comments hours after he opened a large hydroelectric project in Badulla, located some 230 kilometers to the east of Colombo. The Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project, which is worth over $500 million, has been largely designed and built by Iranian companies to help Sri Lanka overcome its electricity and irrigation problems.

He stated Iran had progressed in various fields of technology over the past years despite being subject to a harsh regime of foreign sanctions.

He added that Iran and Sri Lanka will soon form an intergovernmental committee to significantly boost their trade and economic ties.

The Sri Lanka president, for his part, said in the joint press conference with Raeisi that his country has relied on Iran’s support to weather a major economic crisis in recent years.

Wickremesinghe stressed that Sri Lanka and Iran had agreed during Raeisi’s visit to teh country to cooperate more on issues related to the Indian Ocean and on joint initiatives in the United Nations.

He added that five memorandums of understanding signed earlier in the day between Sri Lankan and Iranian government ministers would lead to a further expansion in relations between the two countries.

Raisi arrived in Colombo early on Wednesday after a three-day visit to Pakistan and as part of his administration’s drive to boost ties with Asian countries. The short visit to Sri Lanka is the first by an Iranian president in 16 years.

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