US envoy finds Sri Lanka FM switched before meeting

ECONOMYNEXT – The highest ranking official from the new US administration to visit  Sri Lanka, William E. Todd, called on the Foreign Minister only to find that Mangala Samaraweera had been shifted out a short while earlier.

Notwithstanding the swapping of portfolios between Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and Foreign Minister Samaraweera, the visit by US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs went ahead at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo.

“The purpose of the visit is to work on strengthening US-Sri Lanka relations and discuss US support for the reform, reconciliation and development agenda of the National Unity Government of Sri Lanka,” Samaraweera’s office said as they packed their bags to shift to the Treasury building.

Todd’s visit is the first high level meeting in Colombo since Donald Trump became president. At Monday’s meeting in Colombo, Todd was accompanied by US ambassador Atul Keshap.

"A warm welcome to @State_SCA Acting Assistant Secretary Bill Todd. He & I are off to learn more about US-#SriLanka bilateral opportunities," Keshap said on twitter.

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