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Iranian President reaffirms support after opening of Uma oya development project

By: Staff Writer

April 25, Colombo (LNW): Amidst spiralling tensions in the Middle East, the Iranian President Dr. Ibrahim Raisi yesterday renewed his country’s further support to the progress of the Indian Ocean nation following an internationally widely observed and landmark visit to Sri Lanka.

In a whistle stop but highly secure tour to Sri Lanka, President Raisi inaugurated the US$ 514 million worth ‘Uma Diya Janani’ multi-purpose development project which boosts the critical electricity and irrigation sectors of the country.

President Raisi’s one-day official visit to Sri Lanka at the special invitation, marks the first by an Iranian President since former Iranian President Mohammad Ahmadinejad’s arrival in April 2008.

Until two days ago, the visit wasn’t confirmed as it was amidst mounting tensions in the Middle East due to the ongoing conflict involving Israel and Palestine and Iran’s own actions much to the charging of the Western world.

Despite visible alignment with the West on Israel and humanitarian gestures to Gaza, Sri Lanka by hosting Iranian President was endeavouring to prove to the world that it remains a non-aligned nation.

Dr. Raisi accompanied by Iran’s First Lady Jamile Sadat Alamolhoda, arrived in Sri Lanka at the Mattala Airport yesterday morning and the Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena along with other ministers warmly welcomed the Iranian delegation.

At Uma Oya, both Presidents unveiled a commemorative plaque and inaugurated the project, initiating the operation of electricity generators through digital technology.

Iranian President Dr. Raisi underscored that the project symbolises not only the friendship between the two countries but also signifies enhanced cooperation, integration, harmony, and unity among Asian nations.

The President of Iran affirmed its readiness to foster a strong partnership with Sri Lanka and expressed Iran’s willingness to contribute to Sri Lanka’s progress and development through the provision of technical and engineering services for large-scale projects.

He said that Iran is eager to forge a strong partnership with Sri Lanka, poised to contribute to its growth and development. Iran stands prepared to offer technical and engineering services for significant development initiatives in Sri Lanka,” Dr. Raisi said.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe affirmed readiness to impart the knowledge acquired by Iran over the past 45 years to foster the advancement and development of Sri Lanka

Wickremesinghe in his address expressed gratitude to Iran for their indispensable support, highlighting that without it, Sri Lanka could not have diverted water from Uma Oya to Kirindi Oya. He emphasised Sri Lanka’s commitment to strengthening ties with Iran.

Reflecting on the shared aspirations of the Global South for their unique identity and independence, Wickremesinghe stressed the importance of solidarity among these nations.

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