US State Secretary Mike Pompeo cancels SL visit

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has cancelled his much-publicised visit to Sri Lanka, according to the US Embassy in Sri Lanka.

Pompeo was scheduled to arrive in Colombo between 24 and 28 June as part of an official visit to Sri Lanka, India and Japan.

According to the US Embassy, the Secretary of State had to cancel his visit to Sri Lanka due to scheduling conflicts.

“Due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts during his upcoming visit to the Indo-Pacific region that includes accompanying President Donald J. Trump to the G20 Summit in Japan, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is unable to visit Sri Lanka as previously announced,” a statement from the Embassy said.

“Secretary Pompeo regrets that he is no longer able to visit Colombo at this time.  He hopes to travel to Sri Lanka at a later date to underscore our strong partnership with Sri Lanka, which is rooted in a commitment to democracy, economic growth and a free, open Indo-Pacific region,” it added.

Pompeo’s visit was billed as a drive to explore avenues of bilateral cooperation.

The visit was to occur in the backdrop of the controversial 2007 Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) signed between Sri Lanka and the United States making headlines again.

The agreement has received much attention in the media of late, with its latest iteration (signed in 2017) reportedly containing over 50 annexures and listing US military establishments allowed to use Sri Lanka’s air ports and sea ports.

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