Iran to assist SL in offshore oil exploration
[November 25, 2004

On the second day [Thursday 25th November] of her official visit to Teheran President Chandrika Kumaratunga held discussions with the Chairman of the Expediency Council and former President of Iran Hashemi Rafsanjani. A range of issues were discussed during the 45-minute meeting at his official residence.

President Kumaratunga briefed Mr. Rafsanjani about the developments in bilateral relations between the two countries in the economic, trade, cultural, technical and diplomatic fields. She thanked the Government of Iran for its support in the trade front and its increased confidence in Sri Lanka. President Kumaratunga also promised to extend technical assistance and Sri Lankan expertise to improve the quality of tea production in Iran.

President Kumaratunga briefed Mr. Rafsanjani about the domestic issues in Sri Lanka; she said the war has come to a halt under a Ceasefire agreement with the militant LTTE. The LTTE has expressed its willingness to explore a federal solution within a united country. The direct talks have stalled since April 2003. However the LTTE continues to kill Tamil political leaders and activists, and conscript children for the organization in violation of the CFA.

Explaining the economic trends, President Kumaratunga said there has been a 5-6 percent growth during the past decade. Sri Lanka would welcome Iranian investors in joint ventures, as such ventures would provide access to markets in India and Pakistan she said. She also requested Mr. Rafsanjani to consider assistance for offshore exploration for petroleum resources in Sri Lanka.

President Kumaratunga said different religious groups, one of which is Islam co-exist peacefully in Sri Lanka. Mr. Rafsanjani was very happy to hear that. He also admired the freedom Sri Lankan women enjoy in society.

Former Iranian President explained the importance of the unity among Asian nations for the optimum use their human and natural resources. We should share our knowledge and resources to face the challenges of the Western World and Iran has the capacity for improved co-operation in this regard.

The Iranian leader said his country would help off-shore oil exploration in Sri Lanka. He said promoting tourism would help establish close ties and mutual development among the peoples of the two countries. He also suggested Sri Lanka could export more tropical fruit to Iran where there is a huge demand this commodity.





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Last Updated Date: November 25, 2004  


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