US to work closely with Sri Lanka on maritime security

May 04, Colombo: The United States has expressed desire to work closely with Sri Lanka, especially, in the areas of maritime security, counter terrorism, and combating piracy.

This has been stated by the visiting United States Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake, Jr. during a meeting with the Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris at the Ministry.

During the meeting, the Minister has emphasized the need to move forward in the relations between the two countries which could be done by working on areas to be identified by both sides.

Assistant Secretary Blake reiterating his government’s commitment to support Sri Lanka has said that Sri Lanka is an important country to the United States and the U.S. wants a strong and long-term relationship with Sri Lanka.

The Minister has expressed Sri Lanka’s appreciation for the humanitarian assistance provided by the U.S., particularly for the improvement of livelihoods of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North and East.

The Minister has also updated the Assistant Secretary on progress made in resettlement, rehabilitation of ex-combatants, detainees, as well as the political dialogue with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Deputy Minister for External Affairs Neomal Perera, Monitoring MP Sajin de Vaas Gunawardena and External Affairs Secretary Karunathillake Amunugama were also present, while US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis accompanied Assistant Secretary Blake.

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