12:26 PM

Iran gives $15b aid for Lanka

Sri Lanka has received US $15 billion as aid from Iran for development schemes including the modernisation of the Oil Refinery and several irrigation schemes including the Uma Oya scheme.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to Iran from November 26 to 28 opened a new chapter in the centuries old friendship and relations between the two countries, sources said.

The President’s official tour of Iran has been highly successful and rewarding, a joint statement issued by the two countries following the conclusion of the President’s tour on November 27 said.

Meanwhile, private sector business co-operation between Sri Lanka and Iran will be further enhanced with the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding with the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka.

A joint statement between Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Iran yesterday said President Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by a high-ranking political-economic delegation paid an official visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from November 26 to 28 on the invitation of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadi Nejad.


Sri Lankan president arrives in Tehran

President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse arrived in Tehran Monday night heading a high-ranking political- economic delegation.The Lankan president was welcomed at Mehrabad International Airport by Commerce Minister Massoud Mir-Kazemi.

An official welcoming ceremony will be held for President Rajapakse by his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad within coming hours.During his stay here, the Lankan president will discuss key bilateral, regional and international issues with senior Iranian officials.

Sri Lankan president: We support Iran's peaceful nuclear program

According to Foreign Ministry Media Department report on Monday, in the meeting, Mottaki presented a report on the latest situation of Iran's peaceful nuclear program, active cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency( IAEA) and (IAEA Chief) ElBaradei's report to the IAEA Governing Council.

Referring to the level of bilateral ties, Mottaki said, "Iran is interested to expand ties with Sri Lanka in all fields and the visit is a new chapter in mutual relations." The foreign minister added, "President Ahmadinejad has already ordered the implementation of the signed agreements between the two countries." Mottaki expressed Iran's readiness to cooperate in constructing power plants, refineries, irrigation projects and exporting engineering and technical services to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse briefed Mottaki on the situation of Sri Lankan Muslims and said, "Muslims in Sri Lanka enjoy a good situation, and have an active role in the country's politico-social life." He also called for the implementation of a number of agreements previously signed between the two countries.