Iran and Sri Lanka inked five Memorandums of Understanding aimed at bolstering bilateral relations between the two nations.

The MoUs will cover cooperation in film, media, tourism, cooperatives, libraries, cultural, scientific, technical and sports fields. Education Minister Susil Premajayantha signed on behalf of Sri Lanka for the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Library and Archives of Iran and the National Library of Sri Lanka with Cultural Affairs Minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili representing Iran.

Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding was inked between the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran, witnessed by Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister, Dr. Bandula Gunawardhana and Iranian Cultural Affairs Minister, Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili.

A Memorandum of Understanding was also sealed between Sri Lanka and Iran concerning cooperation in media and tourism. Transport, Highways and Mass Media Minister Dr.Bandula Gunawardhana, along with Iranian Energy Minister Ali Akbar Mehra Biyan signed the agreement.

An agreement encompassing cultural, scientific, and technical collaboration, as well as media, youth, and sports programmes between Sri Lanka and the Islamic Republic of Iran, was signed. Foreign Minister Ali Sabry PC represented Sri Lanka, while Minister of Cultural Affairs Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili represented Iran.

Another Memorandum of Understanding was established between the Iran Cooperative Board and the Sri Lanka National Cooperative Board. Chairman of the Sri Lanka National Cooperative Board, G.V. Sarath Weerasiri, and Iran’s Cultural Affairs Minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaeili, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

The event was attended by Ministers Pavitra Wanniarachchi, Prasanna Ranatunga, Kanchana Wijesekera, Nalin Fernando, Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Aruni Wijewardene and other dignitaries.

The meeting between Iranian President Dr.Ibrahim Raisi who arrived in Sri Lanka to attend the inauguration of the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project and President Ranil Wickremesinghe took place on Wednesday afternoon at the Presidential Secretariat.

President Wickremesinghe warmly greeted the delegation, which included the Iranian President, upon their arrival at the Presidential Secretariat. A ceremonial Guard of Honour was accorded to the visitors accompanied by a 21-gun salute.

Following the introduction of the delegations from both nations, President Wickremesinghe escorted the Iranian President and his team to the Presidential Secretariat. Subsequent to amicable discussions between the leaders, bilateral talks commenced.

Diplomatic ties between Iran and Sri Lanka were established in 1962, predating formal recognition. Historical exchanges between the two nations date back to the Persian era, with trade conducted primarily through the Strait of Hormuz. Iran established its embassy in Colombo in 1975, while Sri Lanka reciprocated by opening its embassy in Tehran in January 1990. Both countries maintain robust cooperation across various sectors and engage in multilateral endeavours.

The leaders deliberated on enhancing bilateral relations between their respective nations, underscoring the commitment to further collaboration and mutual cooperation.

President Wickremesinghe took the opportunity to express his gratitude to President Raisi for the support extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran during Sri Lanka’s recent economic crisis and subsequent debt restructuring efforts. Updating President Raisi on Sri Lanka’s recent economic stability and recovery, President Wickremesinghe conveyed optimism regarding the nation’s future progress and prosperity.

During their discussions, the leaders delved into key areas of mutual interest, emphasising the need to bolster economic and trade ties while fostering political and cultural cooperation.