The inaugural US – Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue which was delegated by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera last week has concluded successfully, informs Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Partnership Dialogue has been a regular policy consultation designed to discuss and identify opportunities for cooperation across the full range of bilateral and regional issues.
It was US Secretary of State John Kerry, during his visit to Sri Lanka on 2-3 May 2015 who announced the decision to begin a Partnership Dialogue between the two countries “We’ve seen in recent decades that free countries can learn from one another, and that, to prosper, they have to be prepared to help one another. And that is why I’m pleased to announce that our governments will launch a partnership dialogue to intensify our cooperation across the board.”
Using the opportunity of his presence in Washington DC, Minister Samaraweera addressed an event co-hosted by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and the Heritage Foundation on 25 February on the subject ‘Advancing Reconciliation and Development in Sri Lanka’.
Describing progress in relations between the United States and Sri Lanka since the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in January 2015, Minister Samaraweera, during this address at the US Institute of Peace, said: “Although our countries have maintained cordial ties since independence, we can be proud that this cordiality has now blossomed into a very special friendship.”
During his visit, the Minister had a series of meetings in Washington including with Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Ambassador Susan Rice and the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Representative Ed Royce.
The Partnership Dialogue demonstrates the consolidation of cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka and serves to further strengthen and enhance bilateral relations, through regular and structured engagement, based on common democratic values and shared interest in working together to foster greater stability, security, prosperity, and a rules-based order for the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. Through these annual consultations, the United States plans to launch several programs to encourage investment in Sri Lanka's economy, assist the government in its efforts to institutionalize good governance best practices across key ministries, and support the process of reconciliation and development to which the government and people of Sri Lanka are committed, with a view to achieving durable peace and socio-economic progress for all.