No SOFA deal yet; MCC to be presented to Parliament after cabinet approval: PM

Ranil-Wickremesinghe

July 10, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government has not signed a new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States although discussions are ongoing about a new one, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament Wednesday.

Tabling the old SOFA documents in the Parliament, he said diplomatic privileges are already applies to US military and civil officers of the US Defense Ministry under the old agreement.

“First, I would like to table the SOFA agreement in Parliament. It was signed in 1995 between the Foreign Ministry and the US Embassy in Sri Lanka,” Wickremesinghe said.

“There is no new SOFA agreement between Sri Lanka and the United States and there is also no such proposal forwarded by the line ministry to the cabinet but we are having discussions about a new one,”

“We can’t agree with some of the conditions included in the new draft and I informed them about it. Relevant ministry and the Embassy discussing it. Those discussions might be a success or a failure but we are not doing anything that damages our sovereignty.”

Prime Minister further stated that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement will also be presented to Parliament after obtaining the cabinet approval.

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