On the second leg of his four-nation tour, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is in Sri Lanka, after his go to to India, the place he held bilateral conferences together with his counterpart Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.
Focusing on a strengthened Indo-Pacific, the go to to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia by this senior Trump administration official is to make sure that China and its aggressive insurance policies are put below verify.
At the information briefing held on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pompeo attacked China calling it a “predator” which continues to violate sovereignty on land and at sea.
“Chinese Communist Party is a predator. The United States comes as a friend and partner,” the US Secretary of State mentioned.
He mentioned the US desires to take the partnership with Sri Lanka ahead based mostly on democratic values in contrast to what China desires.
“A strong, sovereign Sri Lanka is a powerful strategic partner for the United States on the world stage. They can be a beacon for a free and open Indo-Pacific. That’s quite a contrast to what China seeks,” mentioned Pompeo.
“We want the people of Sri Lanka to have sovereignty and independence. We want them to be successful, we want sustainable development for them. We think the US as a friend and partner offers exactly that,” he added.
To a query posed to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister whether or not if the Pompeo go to can be seen as an irritant by Beijing, he mentioned that Colombo pursued a overseas coverage that’s “neutral” and desires to work with all people.
“Sri Lanka-US relations have moved forward through years of cooperation. Sri Lanka is a neutral non-aligned country committed to peace. We hope to continue our relations with the United States and with other nations,” mentioned Gunawardena.
When requested if the US’ go to is just directed in opposition to China, Pompeo mentioned that “democracies” just like the US and Sri Lanka have a “shared vision”.
“These are visions the people of Sri Lanka share with the people of the United States. The Chinese have a different vision. We want to make sure the people of Sri Lanka can exercise their sovereign right to remain independent,” he mentioned.
In a robust message to combat terrorism and the specter of ISIS/IS, the Secretary of State visited St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade on Wednesday afternoon which was one of many 5 websites attacked by ISIS on Easter Sunday in 2019.
“Will pay my respect to hundreds of victims of evil terrorists, including five Americans,” he had mentioned on the briefing.
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