By Kelum Bandara
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited the Maldives from Sri Lanka announced the opening of a resident mission their. Previously, the US ambassador to Sri Lanka was concurrently in charge of the Maldives.
“I am pleased to announce that the United States intends to open an Embassy in Maldives with a resident US Ambassador, reflecting the continued growth of the US-Maldives relationship and underscoring the United States’ unshakable commitment to the Maldives and the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr. Pompeo said according to an online post.
“The United States and the Maldives first established diplomatic ties in 1966, our countries have expanded cooperation on issues ranging from strengthening maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, to incentivizing the private sector, and countering terrorism. With support from the United States, Maldives has made tremendous progress in recent years to support democratic institutions and foster a free and open society for the benefit of all its citizens,” he said.
Mr. Pompeo undertook a tour of the region visiting India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Indonesia and Vietnam. Ahead of the US presidential elections, he embarked on this visit in pursuit of what he called a ‘free and open Indo-pacific region. The trip meant to foster strategic ties with these countries in the face of growing Chinese activities in the region.
He said in Colombo on Tuesday the U.S. seeks to strengthen ties with Sri Lanka for a free and open Indo-pacific policy. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in his meeting with Mr. Pompeo was categorical that Sri Lanka would follow a neutral, non-aligned policy. He also said China gave development assistance to Sri Lanka during the postwar period.
- The US and the Maldives first established diplomatic ties in 1966, we have expanded cooperation on strengthening maritime security in the Indo-Pacific, to incentivizing the private sector