President Ranil Wickremesinghe met with Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York yesterday (20/09).
President Wickremesinghe referred to the longstanding close cooperation with Iran and the mutual support extended by both countries to each other over the years. He conveyed appreciation for the assistance during the recent economic crisis.
President Raisi stated that both countries need to build on their traditional friendship by identifying new pathways to further expand cooperation. He stated that there is potential to increase economic cooperation and proposed early convening of the Joint Economic Commission. The prospects for cooperation in the agriculture sector, particularly introducing modern technology in which area Iran has considerable expertise, was also discussed.
The two leaders recognized that as countries belonging to the same region there is potential for regional cooperation in a range of areas of mutual interest including as members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
The President referred to the cooperation with Iran in the power and energy sector particularly the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project. In this context, President Wickremesinghe extended an invitation to President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Sri Lanka and ceremonially open the Uma Oya Hydropower Station. President Raisi accepted the invitation and also extended an invitation to President Wickremesinghe to visit Iran. Both leaders agreed that these high level visits would give impetus to further consolidate bilateral ties.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Hossaien Amir Abdollahian and other senior officials from Sri Lanka and Iran participated in the meeting.