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Emphasis on agriculture vital for food security - Presidents of Iran and Sri Lanka

UN: The Presidents of Sri Lanka and Iran agreed on the need for agricultural development especially in the developing countries in the context of assuring global food security.

This understanding was expressed when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the United Nations on Thursday. The bilateral meeting of the two leaders took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly sessions that were addressed by both leaders.

The Iranian President expressed his gratitude for the very warm reception extended to him on his delegation on their recent visit to Sri Lanka, while the Sri Lankan President thanked Iran for the assistance given for important development projets, and measures that helped Sri Lanka avoid the harsh impact of the global fuel crisis.

President Rajapaksa reiterated his position, as stated at the UN General Assembly that it was necessary for developing countries to ignore some of the advice on economic development given by the World Bank, IMF and other international institutions that sought to confine the people of the developing world to be exporters of produce to the developed world.

This was considered a common necessity of the developing countries, by the Iranian leader.

There was understanding among the two leaders of the need for greater investment in agriculture to develop the rural sector and urgent action to be taken for better water management in view of the impending threats to this natural asset posed by Climate Change and over exploitation.

President Rajapaksa explained the situation following the liberation of the East from the clutches of LTTE terror, and said that the development of the East would lay emphasis on agriculture, while the proposed development of the North too would see a great emphasis on agriculture; in view of the traditions and skills of the people of the North.

Both countries agreed to the strengthening of the ties of friendship and in their resolution to be united in meeting the threats to economic freedom and security of sovereign states.

While congratulating Sri Lanka for the excellent arrangements made for the recent 15th SAARC Summit held in Colombo, President Ahmadinejad invited President Rajapaksa to visit Iran once again.

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