US – Sri Lanka talks on Indo-Pacific strategy, economic defence ties

ECONOMYNEXT – Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena had discussions on economic, defence, maritime affairs and the US Indo Pacific Strategy, the ministry of foreign affairs said.

“While articulating the US strategic vision of the region, Ambassador Wells, conveyed the keen desire of the United States to build a stronger relationship with Sri Lanka and underscored the importance the US places on the bilateral engagement,” the statement said.

Wells had said earlier that the two countries hoped to re-negotiate a 500 million US dollar grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation which got caught in cross-fire during a recent presidential elections.

“Minister Gunawardena while appreciating the US grant assistance emphasized the need for greater market access for Sri Lankan products and greater investment in Sri Lanka,” the foreign ministry said.

“It was agreed that the two sides work together to increase foreign direct investment from the US to Sri Lanka. The US delegation was also briefed on the developments in Sri Lanka and the renewed efforts in the areas of reconciliation and development.”

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