News ID: 214933
Published: 0955 GMT May 12, 2018

Sri Lanka president to hold trade talks with Iran

Sri Lanka president to hold trade talks with Iran

Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena left on a two-day visit to Iran on Saturday evening to improve trade relations and secure investment from the Islamic Republic, his office said.

Sirisena will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on strengthening cooperation in the energy sector and will also seek Iranian investment, according to an official statement, reported.

The two officials will sign a memorandum of understanding on "further strengthening the economic and trade ties between the two countries".

The visit comes as world leaders scramble to salvage a key nuclear deal with Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the accord.

Before the sanctions regime, Iran had been a key buyer of Sri Lankan tea — the island's main export.

Sri Lanka's only oil refinery is geared to handle Iranian light crude.

Iran pledged $450 million for an irrigation project in Sri Lanka in 2008, but the funds were delayed due to the sanctions.

Sirisena's office said he will also attend a special investment and trade forum organized by the Iran Chamber of Commerce. , the

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