Sri Lanka has requested a concessionary arrangement from the United Arab Emirates to purchase crude oil.
Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris made the request when he met the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the UAE, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, on the sidelines of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly .
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that UAE Minister Al Jaber, responding positively to the request, had noted that the UAE would be happy to assist, and proposed the establishment of a strategic framework to take the process forward.
The foreign Ministry said both Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen the good relationship between the countries based on mutual understanding and respect.
The Foreign Minister had also expressed appreciation for providing employment opportunities provided by the UAE for Sri Lankans and for looking after their welfare, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also thanked the UAE Government for introducing constructive legislation related to the welfare of workers.
Meanwhile, foreign media reports say Sri Lanka is in discussion with the government of India to secure a US$ 500 million credit line to purchase fuel and to delay payments.
According to reports Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera has been quoted as saying that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation owes nearly US$3.3 billion to two main state banks, which is almost equivalent to Sri Lanka’s current foreign exchange reserves.
Meanwhile, PB Jayasundera has refuted media reports that Sri Lanka is preparing to purchase oil from Iran.