The joint virtual session between the Iranian Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) and the Pathfinder Foundation (PF) of Sri Lanka about the regional and international issues was held on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
The session was attended by Dr.Mohammad KazemSajjadpour, Deputy Minister of MOFA & President of IPIS; Mr.Majid Ghafelebashi, Research Deputy at the Center; Mr. Ahmad Sadeghi, President of South Asia Department; Mohammad Deldari, Foreign Ministry Expert and Hassan Ahmadian, Professor of University of Tehran; on one side
Bernard Goonetilleke, President of PF; Ms. Reethi Wijerathna, General Director of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry’s Department for the Middle East; Sumith Nakandala, and Omar Khamil, Top Researchers at PF, on the other side.
The session was held in the form of two panels, “Bilateral Relations Between Iran and Sri Lanka”, and “Examining Latest Developments in South and East Asia”, to answer the following questions, (1) How do Iran and Sri Lanka view bilateral ties? (2) What are potential grounds for economic bilateral relations? (3) What is Iran and Sri Lanka’s role in peace and stability in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean? (4) How do regional and trans-regional actors influence instability and tensions in the Persian Gulf?
Here are the most important issues touched upon at the session:
- Iran and Sri Lanka ties are over 60 years old. During these years, the two countries’ ties have been always based on mutual respect. At present, the two countries relations in various political, economic and cultural areas are being pursued at the highest levels.
- The Islamic Republic of Iran has participated in some infrastructure projects, such as in refineries, in Sri Lanka since years ago and the cooperation still goes on. Although the corona pandemic and the US unilateral sanctions have created some restrictions for cooperation between the two countries, Sri Lanka has been a major oil importer of Iran in the past years and the two countries are trying to resolve the obstacles.
- Iran is one of the main actors in the regional cooperation in South Asia. Iran ‘s membership in some regional organizations such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARK) and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), has paved the way for expanding Iran’s multilateral cooperation with South Asian countries.
- The new US administration, despite Trump’s administration, has hit the road to push for multilaterism, instead of extremist unilaterism. Because the world today is in a transitory period and unilateral attempts are doomed to fail. Therefore, the U.S. potential return to multilaterism and some international agreements, such as the JCPOA, can be a positive step toward consolidating peace and stability in the region.