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Monday, February 16, 2015 - 4.45 GMT

Foreign Minister concludes successful visit to U.S.


Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has successfully concluded a visit to the United States from11-13 February.

Minister Samaraweera visited Washington DC from 11-12 February. The visit was his first to the US capital since assuming office as the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Samaraweera's visit to the U.S. came on the heels of US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal's visit to Colombo on 2-3 February.

During the two day visit to Washington, the Minister held a range of meetings including with Secretary of State John F. Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, co-chairs of the Sri Lanka Caucus in the US Congress, Chris Van Hollen and Robert Aderholt, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Ed Royce and Ranking Member of the Committee, Congressman Eliot Engel, the Foreign Affairs Ministry disclosed.

The visit also included speaking engagements followed by interactive sessions at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on 'Sri Lanka after the Presidential Election' and at the National Press Club on 'Sri Lanka - US Relations'.

Welcoming Minister Samaraweera to Washington DC, Secretary Kerry hailed the Presidential election on 8 January which has set Sri Lanka in a new direction.

Expressing support for a Sri Lanka that is peaceful, democratic, prosperous, inclusive and unified and the Government's 100-day programme, Secretary Kerry stressed the commitment of the US Government to the people of Sri Lanka and the ongoing efforts of the Government to strengthen democratic institutions in the country.

The discussions on a wide range of issues included measures to strengthen US-Sri Lanka bilateral relations and future steps to be taken to achieve envisaged objectives.

Inviting Secretary Kerry to visit Sri Lanka at an appropriate time, Minister Samaraweera stressed that he looks forward to working closely with the Secretary of State and other important partners in the United States to enhance relations between the two countries to a state of excellence.

Addressing a full house at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Minister spoke on the post-presidential election developments in the country including steps being taken for reconciliation, strengthening democracy and good governance and also set out foreign policy objectives of the Government.

Speaking on Sri Lanka-US Relations at the National Press Club, the Minister observed that shared values and commitment to democratic ideals gives much scope for the two countries to work together and that the Sri Lanka - US partnership must take into account the island's strategic geographic location.

Following the visit to the nation's capital, the Sri Lankan minister flew to New York where he met with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

During the closed door meeting, the UN Chief and the Sri Lankan Minister had addressed critical priorities for Sri Lanka, including especially human rights, accountability and reconciliation.





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Last modified: February 16, 2015.

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