July 13, 2024
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    Presidents of Iran and Sri Lanka in significant meeting Featured

    April 25, 2024

    The meeting between Iranian President Dr. Ibrahim Raisi who arrived in Sri Lanka to attend the inauguration of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project and President Ranil Wickremesinghe took place yesterday (24) afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat.

    President Wickremesinghe warmly greeted the delegation, which included the Iranian President, upon their arrival at the Presidential Secretariat. A ceremonial Guard of Honour was accorded to the visitors accompanied by a 21-gun salute.

    Following the introduction of the delegations from both nations, President Wickremesinghe escorted the Iranian President and his team to the Presidential Secretariat. Subsequent to amicable discussions between the leaders, bilateral talks commenced.

    Diplomatic ties between Iran and Sri Lanka were established in 1962, predating formal recognition. Historical exchanges between the two nations date back to the Persian era, with trade conducted primarily through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran established its embassy in Colombo in 1975, while Sri Lanka reciprocated by opening its embassy in Tehran in January 1990. Both countries maintain robust cooperation across various sectors and engage in multilateral endeavours.

    The leaders deliberated on enhancing bilateral relations between their respective nations, underscoring the commitment to further collaboration and mutual cooperation.

    President Wickremesinghe took the opportunity to express his gratitude to President Raisi for the support extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran during Sri Lanka’s recent economic crisis and subsequent debt restructuring efforts. Updating President Raisi on Sri Lanka’s recent economic stability and recovery, President Wickremesinghe conveyed optimism regarding the nation’s future progress and prosperity.

    During their discussions, the leaders delved into key areas of mutual interest, emphasizing the need to bolster economic and trade ties while fostering political and cultural cooperation.

    Following these deliberations, five Memorandums of Understanding were signed between Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Iran in the presence of both leaders.

    Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha signed on behalf of Sri Lanka for the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Library and Archives of Iran and the National Library of Sri Lanka, with Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili representing Iran.

    Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding was inked between the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran, witnessed by Minister of Transport, Highways, and Mass Media, Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, and Iranian Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mr. Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili.

    A Memorandum of Understanding was also sealed between Sri Lanka and Iran concerning cooperation in media and tourism. Dr. Bandula Gunawardena, Sri Lanka’s Minister of Transport, Highways, and Mass Media, along with Mr. Ali Akbar Mehra Biyan, Iran’s Minister of Energy, signed the agreement.

    Furthermore, an agreement encompassing cultural, scientific, and technical collaboration, as well as media, youth, and sports programs between Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Iran, was signed. Foreign Minister Ali Sabri PC represented Sri Lanka, while Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili represented Iran.

    Another Memorandum of Understanding was established between the Iran Cooperative Board and the Sri Lanka National Cooperative Board. Chairman of the Sri Lanka National Cooperative Board, G.V. Sarath Weerasiri, and Iran’s Minister of Cultural Affairs, Mr. Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

    The event was attended by Ministers Ms Pavitra Wanniarachchi, Mr. Prasanna Ranatunga, Mr. Kanchana Wijesekera, Mr. Nalin Fernando, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ms Aruni Wijewardene, and other dignitaries.

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