US assures support to new government of Sri Lanka, seeks enhanced cooperation

Feb 02, Colombo: The United States today assured to support the new government of Sri Lanka to meet its “difficult challenges”, pledging support for the government’s 100 day-program.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka said Washington is a friend and partner of Sri Lanka and is ready to help the island nation on a range of issues, including its human rights.

The top U.S. diplomat to visit Sri Lanka after the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena was installed early last month, Biswal met with the President today at the Presidential Secretariat.

The Assistant Secretary congratulating the new President, stressed the long friendship between the two countries and assured that the United States stands ready to be a partner and a friend to “expand the bonds between our people, our governments, and our civil societies and our businesses.”

Assistant Secretary Biswalalso met with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe at the Temple Trees today.nisha-biswal-with-Maithripala

Earlier the Assistant Secretary met the Foreign Affairs Minister of Sri Lanka Mangala Samaraweera today at the Ministry and held official talks reviewing a range of issues today. She conveyed the US Government�s desire to work closely with the newly elected government of President Maithripala Sirisena.

During the discussion, the forthcoming visit of Foreign Minister Samaraweera to Washington was discussed, the Foreign Ministry said. The Minister is scheduled to meet Secretary of State John Kerry on the 12th.
Speaking to media after the meeting Minister Samaraweera said Sri Lanka wants to raise the relationship between the two countries to a new level of cordiality and he hopes to continue the dialogue when he visits Washington next week and meet the Secretary of State.

The Foreign Minister informed Assistant Secretary Biswal about the 100 day programme of the Government and its implementation. They also explored prospects for enhanced cooperation, particularly collaboration in strengthening economic ties between the two countries.

Speaking to reporters, Biswal said Sri Lanka can count on the US to be a partner and a friend in meeting the difficult challenges the country faces.

“Sri Lanka can count on the US to be a partner and a friend in the way forward, whether it is on rebuilding the economy, on preventing corruption, and advancing good governance and ensuring human rights and democratic participation for all of its citizens,” she said.

She reiterated that the U.S. wants to work with Colombo to find constructive ways forward on all the areas of interest between the two nations.

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