U.S. willing to support Sri Lanka – Nuland

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US Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland accentuated that the United States is eager to support Sri Lanka, as it is a vital partner of the US.

Nuland visited Sri Lanka from 22 – 23 March during which she held held productive discussions with Minister of Foreign affairs G.L. Peiris and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jayanath Colombage.  Minister Peiris warmly welcomed the Under Secretary and stated that Sri Lanka considers the US an important partner and looks forward to working closely with the Biden Administration to elevate the longstanding relations to greater heights.

Minister Peiris stated that it was important to enhance economic cooperation, as Sri Lanka recovers from the pandemic and encouraged increased US investments to Sri Lanka. He also outlined the progress in reconciliation and human rights, including the PTA reforms passed by Parliament on 22/03. Both sides resolved to further consolidate the strong bilateral relations of over 70 years, into a multifaceted partnership for the mutual benefit of the two countries. 

During the fourth session of the Sri Lanka – US Partnership Dialogue, both delegations reiterated their intent to explore new opportunities to enhance market access, bilateral trade, investment, and tourism. They also committed to working together to address climate change and other environmental challenges and resolved to continue cooperation in maritime security. The United States welcomed action taken by Sri Lanka to promote reconciliation and human rights in pursuit of development and prosperity. Both delegations welcomed on-going bilateral defence and security sector cooperation and the United States resolved to explore opportunities to further expand counter-terrorism cooperation with Sri Lanka. Both delegations also expressed strong support for on-going cooperation between the two countries in education and culture. 

Nuland also paid a courtesy call on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat, visited the Colombo Port and met with civil society leaders and the private sector.

State Minister of Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jayanath Colombage, senior officials of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Public Security, Justice, Health, Agriculture, Technology, Environment, Education as well as the Department of Commerce, Board of Investment, Department of External Resources and the Export Development Board participated in the Partnership Dialogue. Nuland was accompanied by the Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs of the US Department of State, Donald Lu, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, the Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Amanda Dory and senior officials of the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Colombo.