Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in a meeting with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa here on Monday, said Tehran believes that Sri Lanka’s progress and mightiness would serve interests of regional countries. During the meeting, Ahmadinejad noted the two countries’ historical and cultural commonalities, and reminded that Iran and Sri Lanka enjoy intact economic and cultural potentials for the further expansion of mutual ties.
He said that both countries support world peace and friendship, and underlined the need for the two sides to bolster political cooperation in international arena alongside bilateral expansion of economic and trade relations.
The president further underlined both sides’ resolve to further develop relations, and lauded the proper mutual understanding existing between Iran and Sri Lanka.
“There is a proper understanding between the Islamic Republic and Sri Lanka today; therefore, the two countries’ mutual relations could increase growingly,” he reiterated.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran supports stability, independence and integration of Sri Lanka,” Ahmadinejad said, stressing that attainment of the said features by the Far-East country served regional interests.
He also called for progress and mightiness of all regional countries, and voiced Tehran’s preparedness to boost cooperation with regional states to help them with progress in different fields.
Ahmadinejad also expressed the hope that the visit to Tehran by the Sri Lankan president would take a long stride in the expansion of bilateral relations.
He also called for the regular meetings of the two countries’ joint cooperation commission.
For his par, the Sri Lankan president voiced pleasure in his trip to Iran, and said that his country views Iran as “a true friend”.
He further called for the bolstering of mutual cooperation between Iran and Sri Lanka, given the abundant intact potentials existing on both sides.
Mahinda Rajapaksa also pointed to the two countries’ political cooperation, and voiced Sri Lanka’s political support for Iran at all international circles.
To conclude his remarks, Rajapaksa appreciated Ahmadinejad for ordering aids to the expansion of an oil refinery in Sri Lanka last year.
The Sri Lankan president was received by his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here at the presidential office, shortly after his arrival in Tehran on Monday.
President Rajapaksa was earlier welcomed at Mehrabad International Airport by Iranian Commerce Minister Massoud Mir-Kazemi.
During the official welcoming ceremony, the national anthems of the two countries were played and the two presidents reviewed the guard of honor.
The ceremony was then followed by the two presidents’ official talks.
During his stay here, Rajapaksa will discuss key bilateral, regional and international issues with senior Iranian officials.
A number of documents are expected to be signed by Iranian and Sri Lankan officials on bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, shipping and customs as well as Tehran-Colombo cultural and commercial cooperation.