Pompeo to Discuss U.S. Support for SL

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 24 2020

United States (US) Secretary of State Michael Pompeo will raise issues related to human rights, reconciliation, democracy and China, during his visit to Sri Lanka this week, US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Dean Thompson said on 22 October.

Speaking to the Media via teleconferencing from Washington DC, Thompson said that Pompeo’s discussions around China will be on a more positive trajectory, where Sri Lanka is heading and on the ways and means of strengthening Colombo’s commitment to human rights, rule of law and democracy, the US State Department said on 22 October.

“In the interest of strengthening our long-standing partnership with Sri Lanka and reinforcing our long-term commitment to the region, we encourage Sri Lanka to review the options we offer for transparent and sustainable economic development in contrast to discriminatory and opaque practices. 

We urge Sri Lanka to make difficult but necessary decisions to secure its economic independence for long-term prosperity, and we stand ready to partner with Sri Lanka for its economic development and growth,” Thompson said.

“Pompeo will also emphasise the ties between our people, our shared commitment to democracy, and the importance of our ongoing regional maritime security cooperation. We’ll continue to urge Sri Lanka to advance democratic governance, human rights, reconciliation, religious freedom and justice, which promote the country’s long-term stability and prosperity and ensures the dignity and equality of all of Sri Lanka’s diverse communities,” he said.

Thompson said that Pompeo in his visit to Colombo will meet with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to emphasise the US commitment to a strong, independent, and democratic Sri Lanka. “We want to partner with Sri Lanka on our shared goals of sustainable economic development and a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added.

Pompeo, together with US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, will kick off his four-nation Asian tour today (Sunday, 25 October) with India, followed by Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia. The tour ends on 30 October. (PA)

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Oct 24 2020

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