US opposes Iranian President’s visit?



Highly placed officers at the US embassy in Colombo have opposed the impending visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the ‘Aruna’ newspaper reports.

Highly placed sources have confirmed that officials from the US embassy who had visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Sri Lanka on April 16 and 17 had voiced their opposition, the newspaper adds.

It further notes that a team of Iranian security detail had arrived at Sri Lanka yesterday (17) ahead of President Raisi’s visit.

The Iranian President will arrive in Sri Lanka on April 24 on a one-day official visit to inaugurate the Tehran-assisted Uma Oya multipurpose development project worth $529 million.

The plane carrying the Iranian President is to land at Mattala Airport and the President is to be escorted under strict security to Uma Oya before he leaves the country on the same day, ‘Aruna’ reports.

This is the first time an Iranian President is visiting Sri Lanka since 2008.

The Uma Oya project was originally scheduled to be completed in 2015, but had been delayed several times due funding issues after the US imposed economic sanctions on Iran and the economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

The ‘Aruna’ newspaper further notes :

A special discussion on the security detail of the Iranian President was chaired by the Secretary of the Defence Ministry – General Kamal Gunaratne yesterday (17). Parallelly, a group of MoD officials had gone to the Mattala Airport.

According to diplomatic sources, the US FBI as well as Iraq’s Mossad are keeping a close eye on the Iranian President’s visit.

Speaking to ‘Aruna’, a senior officer has also stated that all intelligence units of Sri Lanka will collaborate to provide security to the visiting Iranian President.

(Source : Aruna)


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