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President to visit Iran - Iranian Speaker

Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Ardeshir Larijani called on Speaker Karu Jayasuriya yesterday. Picture by Saman Sri Wedage

President Maithripala Sirisena is expected to visit Iran in the near future, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Ardeshir Larijani said on Thursday.

He made this comment while at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce with an Iranian delegation that included, among others, Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mohammed Zaeri Amirani.

“Strong bilateral cooperation and friendship will continue to grow from strength to strength.

The future looks bright for Iran and Sri Lanka ties,” said Ambassador Amirani.

Chief Economist of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Shiran Fernando elaborated on the event with the Iranian delegation, which was closed off to local press, saying that it consisted of a general bilateral discussion between both sides. He clarified afterward that no timeline was given for the President’s future visit but that he expects it to occur sometime this year.

The 37-member delegation from Iran arrived in Colombo on Wednesday evening for a two-day visit as part of a trip to Asia that also included Vietnam.

The visit comes in response to an invitation extended by the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya. During their time on the island, the Iranian delegation is scheduled to meet government officials including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Speaking to the media upon the delegation’s arrival, Speaker Larijani said, “Iran has always had good relations with Sri Lanka in areas of trade and politics.”

He continued, “Heightening the trade transactions between Iran and Sri Lanka is one of the issues with high priority and it should be considered that now is the best time to expand cooperation between the two countries.”