By Sandun A Jayasekera
Opening a new chapter in bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the US, a high level joint meeting will be held on Thursday at the State Department between US State Secretary Michael Richard Pompeo and Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana, a source said.
The meeting held in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday carnage will focus mainly on Security, Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime among other matters.
The two officials and the delegates of the two countries are also expected to discuss Indo-Pacific Strategy, Sri Lanka and the Asian Region, Military-to-Military Relations, Visiting Forces Agreement and Assistance to Sri Lanka’s Peacekeeping-Capabilities including De-mining.
Meanwhile, Human Rights and Transitional Justice that include Iran Sanctions, Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) Compact and Economic Cooperation, Trade and Investment, Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership, 5G, Digital Connectivity and Cyber security, FATE (Financial Task Force for Money Laundering) and OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Country Risk Ranking will also be discussed at this highly bilateral meeting.
After the talks in the US, Minister Marapana will also pay an official visit to Mexico and meet Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrad.
The discussions in Mexico will focus on trade, investment and tourism and other opportunities of bilateral benefit.
The Sri Lankan delegation led by the minister will include Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Rodney Perera, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Belgium, Luxembourg, the EU and Ambassador-designate to the US, Anuradha Wijekoon, Additional Secretary, Minister of Defence, Shanika Dissanayake, DG, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shobini Gunasekera, DG, Legal and UN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jayantha Fernando, Director, ICTA, and Anushka Wijesinghe, Adviser.
The delegation led by Minister Marapana will leave for US on Tuesday.