Sunday, 19 May 2019 08:49

The US supports Sri Lanka’s counter-terrorism efforts

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The United States of America stands with Sri Lanka against terrorism and supports the island nation’s counter-terrorism efforts following the horrific Easter Sunday terrorist attacks of April 21.

The terrorists who struck Sri Lanka on Easter appear tohave drawn inspiration from ISIS. In this context, Sri Lanka was briefed about the global coalition to Defeat ISIS.

The United States offered assistance to continue to expand counter-terrorism and maritime and border security cooperation with Sri Lanka.
This assurance was given by the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale at the third U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue on May 16, 2019, in Washington, DC. The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka Tilak Marapana.

The United States and Sri Lanka resolved to work together to foster peace and security and ensure a safe maritime domain in the Indian and Pacific Oceans through a rules-based order that ensures respect for international laws and norms.

In this context, the U.S. strategy towards a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, which ensures freedom of navigation, overflight, and unimpeded commerce was acknowledged as an important initiative.

The two countries agreed to further promote cooperation and exchanges in maritime security and safety, and noted with satisfaction the Indian Ocean conferencehosted by Sri Lanka in October 2018, and agreed to continue to pursue joint initiatives to
enhance security, stability, transparency, and economic opportunity for mutual benefit.

Sri Lanka welcomed the arrival of the Secretary Class High Endurance Cutter transferred through the U.S. Excess Defense Articles program to advance mutual interests in building Sri Lankan capacity to monitor its territorial waters, counter smuggling and other illegal activity, and enhance its humanitarian assistance and disaster response capability in the
Indian Ocean.

US and Sri Lanka governments welcomed ongoing bilateral security sector cooperation ,including U.S. support for demining, joint military engagements, Sri Lanka’s peacekeeping operations, human rights training for Sri Lankan officers, and visits by U.S. ships and military officials.

(LI)

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