- Pledges US State Secretary
Independence and sovereignty won’t be compromised in foreign relations
- Says President
- US investments in Sri Lanka to go up
- Assistance to combat drug trafficking
- Indian Ocean should remain a peace zone
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told President Gotabaya Rajapaksa that the United States is ready to continuously engage with Sri Lanka in its striving to achieve economic development goals.
His country expects to further develop already existing strong bilateral relations between the two countries, the State Secretary said.
The high-level US delegation led by the State Secretary Mike Pompeo arrived in the country last night called on President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today (28).
During the cordial discussion between the two parties, views on a number of areas of bilateral and regional importance were exchanged.
Expressing the desire of the United State to continue to work closely with Sri Lanka in achieving a high level of economic development the State Secretary said priority will be given to promote US investments in the Island.
Tourism is a key sector that contributes to employment and income generation. USA is ready to give a helping hand to the development of this area under a carefully prepared action plan, Mr. Pompeo stated.
In response President Rajapaksa said what Sri Lanka wants is not obtaining loans continuously but to achieve a high level of economic growth by attracting more foreign investments.
“We have already begun to remove bureaucratic red tapes that hinder foreign investment. Sri Lanka is a country that possesses necessary factors to achieve a high agricultural development. Our agriculture sector should be modernized. Scientific research should be conducted in order to reach this goal. We expect your assistance towards this end”, President Rajapaksa stressed.
Elaborating on the foreign policy of Sri Lanka, President said it is based on neutrality.
Relations between Sri Lanka and other nations are determined by several conditions. Historic and cultural relations, development cooperation are some of the priorities. President stressed that he is not ready to compromise the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation in maintaining foreign relations whatever the circumstances may be. Noting that China assisted in the development of the country’s infrastructure since the end of the separatist war President reiterated that Sri Lanka not caught in a debt trap as a result.