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* Sri Lanka, US talks on importing Iranian oil not successful, Petroleum Ministry says
Fri, Jan 3, 2014, 10:48 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Petroleum Resources said the talks held between Sri Lanka and the US over the imports of Iranian crude oil were not successful.

Petroleum Resources Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa has said that several rounds of discussions were held between Sri Lankan officials and the US Embassy in Colombo as well as between the Us Authorities and Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington.

However, the two sides haven't been able to come to an agreement over importing oil from Iran and the government has been informed that it cannot import Iranian oil.

The government has requested an exemption to import Iranian crude to start the now closed oil refinery in Sapugaskanda which has been built to process only the Iranian crude. Sri Lanka received a six-month waiver in November 2013 for no longer purchasing oil from Iran.

A waiver granted by the US State Department means that the banks in the importing country will not be cut off from US financial system for the next six months.

The US has not relaxed the sanctions imposed on Iran despite reaching an accord between the P5+1 countries - US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany - and Iran in November 2013. However, negotiations are expected to end soon and a political deal is expected by the end of this month.

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