Iran seeks to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka

Iran is seeking to strengthen relations with Sri Lanka following the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as President, the Tasnim news agency reported.

Iran congratulated Sri Lanka on holding the Presidential election that led to the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa successfully and in a calm atmosphere.

In a statement on Monday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi lauded the successful presidential election in Sri Lanka.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran congratulates the Sri Lankan nation and Government on Saturday’s presidential election in Sri Lanka that was held in absolute peace and with the participation of people from all walks of life and resulted in the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa by a majority,” he added.

The spokesman also expressed hope that the relations between Tehran and Colombo would grow and deepen in line with the interests of the two nations during the new Sri Lankan President’s tenure.

Rajapaksa won the Sri Lankan Presidential election after a closely fought race against ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa.

Rajapaksa, a former wartime defense secretary, based his campaign on providing strong leadership on national security issues, following coordinated bombings in April that killed 269 people.

The new president, 70, who has taken 52.25% of the vote, is a highly controversial figure among the country’s more than two million Tamils.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president, spearheaded the defeat of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009, ending a decades-long war in which at least 100,000 people died.

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