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US working with SL to oppose intimidation to assert territorial claims

7 May 2015 06:44 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The United States said that it was working with Sri Lanka to oppose intimidation or the use of force to assert territorial or maritime claims in the Indian Ocean.

“…US Secretary of State John Kerry had talked about U.S. leadership on maritime security in the Indian Ocean, in association with our friends and allies across the region. And the United States and Sri Lanka are working together to oppose intimidation or the use of force to assert territorial or maritime claims. And we also are working – we support, sorry, the legal uses of sea and air space, and also the rights that are granted to all states, big states and small states,” Acting deputy Spokesman of the State Department Jeff Rathke told media on Tuesday.

Transcript
QUESTION
: Yeah, Sri Lanka. As I asked yesterday, it was the first visit by the U.S. Secretary of State in the last 10 years, I believe. And they discussed the regional – important regional issues, including maritime security. So could you clarify what the maritime security – is that the Indian Ocean? Or can you explain in a little bit more detail what they discussed?

MR RATHKE: Well, yeah. The United States supports efforts of the Indo-Pacific region countries to provide maritime security. That includes counter-piracy and counter-trafficking operations as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This includes fundamental international principles such as freedom of navigation, freedom of overflight, and other lawful uses of the sea and air space, as well as the peaceful resolution of territorial or maritime claims. So we support Sri Lanka’s efforts to contribute to maritime security and to fulfill its important role as a leading maritime nation in the Indo-Pacific region.

QUESTION: Discussed particularly about Indian Ocean issue or including the South China Sea or other ocean?

MR RATHKE: Well, I think if you look at the Secretary’s remarks, he talked about U.S. leadership on maritime security in the Indian Ocean, in association with our friends and allies across the region. And the United States and Sri Lanka are working together to oppose intimidation or the use of force to assert territorial or maritime claims. And we also are working – we support, sorry, the legal uses of sea and air space, and also the rights that are granted to all states, big states and small states. So I don’t have a geographic signifier to attach to that.

QUESTION: One thing. As you know, the Chinese submarines stopped by the port of Colombo last September. Are you – do you concern these kind of Chinese effort --

MR RATHKE: I don’t have any specific comment on that to offer. Any other – yes, go ahead, Cindy.
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  • Sikikikikiki Friday, 08 May 2015 10:20 AM

    I hope this gives a clear message to TN to stay clear of Katchatheevu

    Mason Friday, 08 May 2015 11:03 AM

    Is not the Port City Project an intimidation. Is the government steadfast in opposing this or slowly caving over reasoning that environmental concerns are being put in order !!!!!


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