The country’s top diplomat said China had assured him that loans and lines of credit were being arranged.

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Sri Lanka’s top diplomat in Beijing said he was very confident that China would receive $2.5 billion in financial support as the island nation’s inflation-driven crisis intensifies.

Ambassador Parissa Cohona said that just last week he received assurances from Chinese authorities that arrangements for loans and lines of credit were progressing. Sri Lanka is seeking to borrow $1 billion from Beijing to repay an existing Chinese loan due in July, as well as a $1.5 billion line of credit to buy goods such as textiles needed to support the garment export industry from the world’s second-largest economy, He said.

“For us, it couldn’t be any faster,” Kerhona said, adding that it could be a matter of weeks. He could not give an exact timetable or disclose the terms of the funding.

“Given the current situation, not many countries can stand up and do something about it,” he said. “China is one of those countries that can do something very quickly.”

Sri Lanka is embroiled in its worst economic crisis in decades, with consumer prices rising the fastest in Asia last month, at around 19%. Soaring costs, widespread power outages and shortages of food and medicine have sparked street protests and left President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with a minority in parliament.

Beijing has maintained friendly relations with Colombo but has yet to provide Sri Lanka with a much-needed lifeline. Rajapaksa recently wrote directly to Chinese President Xi Jinping seeking credit support, and Sri Lankan officials are still encouraging Beijing to resolve the issue as soon as possible, Kohana said.

“Our demands will be respected, but they have to go through the Chinese system,” he said. “We are very confident that these two facilities will be available to us sooner or later.”

Sri Lanka has also sought China’s help in purchasing items such as fuel due to the country’s shortage of foreign exchange, Kohana said. He said he was not sure China would be able to provide such support, given that it is a net importer of such goods.

Separately, Sri Lankan officials are due to meet with their counterparts at the International Monetary Fund later this week to hammer out details of a potential financial package to help it repay $8.6 billion in debt due this year. Kohana said he wanted support from China, which would increase his chances of closing the deal.

“Given the nature of our relationship — this very close and warm relationship — and the dire situation in Sri Lanka, I am confident that China will respond positively to our demands,” Kohona said of his country’s overall efforts to secure funding from Beijing time said.