US, Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue to meet Feb 2016 in Washington

Dec 15, 2015 (LBO) – The first meeting of the United States, Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue will take place in February 2016 in Washington, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon revealed.

“This annual meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss all aspects of the relationship and ways in which the United States may be able to engage directly with the people of Sri Lanka and the Government,” Shannon said.

He was speaking after the meeting with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Foreign Ministry.

In May, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that two governments would launch a Partnership Dialogue to intensify cooperation across the board and to further enhance relationship.

“These efforts will be wide ranging, to the benefit of both countries. Our cooperation benefits communities where returnees are facing hardship. We will assist reconciliation and broader transitional efforts at the household level, community level, and national levels,” he said.

“We will foster greater trade and investment to raise incomes, create jobs, and improve standards of living in both countries.” Shannon further said.

Speaking at the event Minister Samaraweera said the Partnership Dialogue will concentrate on four areas namely, Governance, Development Cooperation and People-to-People ties; Economic Cooperation; Security Cooperation; and International and Regional Affairs.

“These four areas were decided upon after discussion with both President and Prime Minister during the last few months.” Samaraweera said.