Iran is willing to share nuclear technology for peaceful purposes with Sri Lanka, the country s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, who was in Colombo to attend the 15th SAARC Summit told The Island.
He said that Iran and Sri Lanka are long standing friends and Iran was willing to assist in all fields, including uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes.
Asked about allegations that Iran, was helping Sri Lanka because it has no friends in the world, Mottaki dismissed them as ridiculous. `Ours is a friendship based on mutual trust and understanding. To impute ulterior motives is michievious to say the least.` he said
`Iran is sincerely committed to the development of Sri Lanka, whom we consider to be a true friend, he said. `Our commitment has already been proved by a pledge of over US$ 450 million in assistance for several Sri Lankan projects, including the Sapugaskanda oil refinery and Uma Oya irrigation scheme,` Mottaki said.
The reciprocal visits of Presidents Mahmoud Ahamdinejad and Mahinda Rajapaksa to each others countries, bear ample testimony to the solid friendship that has stood the test of time, he observed. `Iran, wants to expand economic and commercial ties with all SAARC members including Sri Lanka. We can help the region develop its energy resources and food production among other things.`
Calling for the establishment of an Asian Parliament on the lines of the European Parliament, he said that it could be the first step towards greater integration, which is so vital for development.