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Zarif leaves Sri Lanka for Singapore

New Delhi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks with Sri Lankan officials in Colombo before departing for Singapore on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the report of Iran's embassy in Colombo, Zarif during his short visit to Sri Lanka, held talks with president of the republic and Parliament speaker and discussed bilateral ties and regional issues with them.

In the meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena expressed his country's firm intention to boost and develop relations with Iran and cooperation, collaboration in international circles and added that there is no obstacle in the way of deepening and developing ties between the two countries.

Zarif said there is a large and various ground for mutual cooperation and underlined continuation of interactions in the fields of energy, agriculture and technical, engineering services.

Foreign Minister Zarif held talks with Parliament Speaker of Sri Lanka Karu Jayasuriya on Tuesday evening.

The two sides underlined continuation, expansion and deepening of good relations between the two countries in all fields and emphasized bolstering parliamentary ties.

After the meeting, Iranian delegation attended dinner banquet of the speaker.

On Wednesday, Zarif discussed expansion of relations especially in the field of energy with his Sri Lankan counterpart Tilak Marapana.

Other issues like oil, petrochemical, construction, banking and agriculture issues were considered during the meeting as well.

In the meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesingeh, the two sides exchanged views on regional issues and bilateral ties.

Zarif and the accompanying delegation arrived in Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka, on Tuesday for a 2-day visit.

Iran and Sri Lanka have official diplomatic relations since 1961.

Sri Lanka is an island in south Asia and in Indian Ocean with 21 million populations.

Sri Lankan president paid an official visit to Iran at the invitation of President Rouhani on May 13, 2018.

The two countries trade and economic exchanges are in the fields of construction refinery, oil and tea.

Iran is the fourth largest tea purchaser of Sri Lanka and in year 2016 imported 92933 tons of tea from Sri Lanka, which decreased in year 2017 to 41927 tons.

Iran is participating in renovation of an old oil refinery with 50,000 barrels a day capacity and intends to build a new oil refinery in Sri Lanka.

Zarif is to visit Singapore to attend ASEAN meeting and sign Treaty of Amity and Cooperation between Tehran and the organization.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

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