President Mahinda Rajapaksa explains a point to Iranian
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during an inspection tour of the
Sapugaskanda oil refinery whose expansion is being funded by
Iran. Work on the project has started.
His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of the
Islamic Republic of Iran, accompanied by a high ranking
delegation paid a State Visit to Sri Lanka from 28 to 29 April,
2008 at the invitation of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency
Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was officially welcomed by the Sri
Lankan President His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa at a formal
ceremony held at the Bandaranaike International Airport.
His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held wide-ranging
discussions with President Rajapaksa, attended by Ministers and
senior officials of both sides. The discussions which took place
in a cordial atmosphere, were detailed and substantive, covering
issues of bilateral, regional and global interest. Both
Presidents, while noting with satisfaction the progress achieved
in bilateral relations, stressed their firm commitment to
further enhance mutual cooperation in the political, economic,
trade, cultural, educational, scientific and technological
fields. The discussions reaffirmed the close and friendly ties
that exist between Sri Lanka and Iran.
The two Presidents agreed to broaden and deepen their bilateral
cooperation, in a spirit of mutual goodwill and friendship. They
also agreed to continue regular high-level exchanges between the
The two Presidents also discussed important regional and
international issues and stated that unilateralism would
undermine internationally accepted norms.
The two Presidents briefed each other on issues of common
interest and current developments in their respective countries.
Both sides condemned terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations and emphasized the need for enhanced
international cooperation to eliminate this global menace. The
Iranian side expressed its support for the sovereignty, unity
and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka and welcomed the positive
political steps taken to end the conflict through negotiations,
leading to a durable settlement, acceptable to all the people of
The Sri Lankan side supported the peaceful use of nuclear energy
by Iran, within the framework of the Treaty on the
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and under the
supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The two sides confirmed the full and non-discriminatory
implementation of Article IV of the NPT on peaceful nuclear
The two sides reiterated the importance of global nuclear
disarmament, particularly the need for the nuclear powers to
destroy their nuclear weapons, based on the decisions of the
relevant international meetings.
The two sides expressed their deep concern over the violence
against the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territories
and recognized the inalienable rights and the legitimate
aspirations of the Palestinian people at the highest level, and
will continue to express their solidarity with the Palestinian
people. Both sides also expressed the hope that the differences
among the different groups in Palestine will be resolved
The two sides, stressing the need for the consolidation of
national unity and understanding, peaceful co-existence and the
preservation of the stability, security and peace in Lebanon,
supported initiatives among different Lebanese parties through
consensus and the participation of all Lebanese political groups
in the process of deciding all issues of concern, as the only
way out of the current crisis in Lebanon.
Both sides emphasized the need for the preservation of the
territorial integrity and unity of Iraq and the participation of
all Iraqi groups in the political process and expressed their
support for the efforts of the elected Iraqi government to
restore security and stability in Iraq.
The two sides expressed concern over the escalation of
insecurity and instability in Afghanistan, and supported, as a
matter of priority, the endeavour by the Government of the
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for the restoration of peace and
The two sides underscored the potential for expansion of
bilateral economic co-operation, which would greatly strengthen
the existing bonds of friendship and co-operation between the
two countries and be conducive to the common progress and
prosperity of the peoples of Iran and Sri Lanka, inter alia, by
encouraging the private sectors of both countries to invest in
Recalling the visit of His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa,
President of Sri Lanka to Iran in November 2007, and the
Agreements and MOUs reached between the two countries in the
areas of power supply and irrigation as well as the expansion of
the oil refinery facility in Sri Lanka, both sides expressed
their deep satisfaction at the ceremonial inauguration of the
Uma Oya multi purpose development project and the Sapugaskanda
oil refinery project respectively, with the assistance of the
Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the visit of
His Excellency the President of Iran to Sri Lanka.
Both sides also noted with satisfaction, the conclusion of the
following MOUs and Agreements during the visit of the President
of Iran to Sri Lanka.
(i) MOU on the Establishment of the Political Consultation
Mechanism between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka
and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamic Republic of Iran.
(ii) MOU between Mahinda Rajapaksa Sports Development Foundation
of Sri Lanka and Mostazafan Foundation of the Islamic Revolution
of Iran to build and operate "Iranian Club-Colombo" in Diyagama,
Homagama, Sri Lanka.
(iii) Heads of Agreement between the Ceylon Petroleum
Corporation and the National Iranian Oil Refining and
(iv) Financing Agreement between the Ministry of Finance &
Planning of Sri Lanka and the Export Development Bank of Iran
for the Uma Oya multi-purpose development project.
(v) Contract Agreement between the Ministry of Irrigation and
Water Management of Sri Lanka and Farab Energy and Water
Projects Company of Iran for the Uma Oya multi-purpose
The President of Sri Lanka His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa
expressed his profound appreciation and sincere thanks to the
President of Iran His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the
assistance that has been pledged for the socio -economic
development of Sri Lanka, which would be of direct benefit to
Given the ever increasing importance of regional co-operation,
both sides agreed to welcome and support various initiatives for
the strengthening of such co-operation in Asia, inter alia, such
as the Economic Co-operation Organization (ECO), South Asian
Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), Indian Ocean Rim
Association for Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC), Association of
South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Asia – Middle East Dialogue (AMED)
and the Colombo Plan.
The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran His Excellency Dr.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad thanked the Government and the people of the
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka for the warm
hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during his visit.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
29 April 2008