Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and visiting US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo held discussions this morning (28 October 2020) at the Foreign Ministry, covering several areas of the multifaceted relationship which exists between Sri Lanka and the United States.
The discussions followed those with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa earlier in the morning.
During the delegation level official talks, the two sides exchanged views on the economic, political, defence & security spheres which straddle the relationship and agreed to take measures to further invigorate the existing cooperation, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
It was agreed to convene the annual Partnership Dialogue at an early, mutually convenient time frame, taking into account the existing COVID-19 pandemic situation.
Furthermore, steps are to be taken to progress on several economic and development related initiatives, in addition to invigorating the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and the US GSP facility. They agreed to work in partnership to address the existing and post COVID-19 economic challenges. The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international developments of mutual interest.
Foreign Minister Gunawardena briefed the visiting Secretary of State on Sri Lanka’s progress in relation to strengthening reconciliation, promoting and protecting human rights, as well as addressing the country’s economic challenges and national security.
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo concluded his visit to Sri Lanka with a solemn event at the St. Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade where he, together with Mrs. Susan Pompeo, laid a wreath in remembrance of those who perished in the April 2019 Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.
Secretary of State Pompeo is the highest-level US dignitary to visit Sri Lanka during the tenure of US President Donald Trump. Sri Lanka is part of an Asian tour undertaken by the US Secretary of State covering three other countries.