President Rajapaksa has stated to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Sri Lanka's foreign policy is based on neutrality. The President detailed his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this morning on social media. While noting that China assisted in the development of the country’s infrastructure since the end of the separatist war, he has reiterated that Sri Lanka not caught in a debt trap as a result.
President Rajapaksa has pointed out that Sri Lanka's relationship with other countries depends on a number of factors, with historical and cultural relations and solidarity in terms of development being of utmost importance. The President has stated emphatically that he is not prepared to sacrifice the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country in international relations.
The President has reiterated that Sri Lanka aims to achieve a high level of economic growth by attracting foreign investment rather than obtaining continuous loans, and stated that Sri Lanka has already begun to remove bureaucratic red tape which hinders foreign investment. Explaining Sri Lanka’s potential to achieve high agricultural development, the President has requested support from the United States for the scientific research which needs to be done to modernize the agricultural sector.
Stating that America is ready to continuously engage closely with Sri Lanka as it strives to achieve economic development goals, US Secretary Pompeo has said that priority will be given to promote US investments in the island. Identifying tourism as a key sector which contributes to employment and income generation, the Secretary Pompeo has stated the willingness of the United States to assist the development of this area under a carefully prepared action plan.
An agreement has been made to further strengthen the long-standing defense cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United States which includes training opportunities and material assistance from the United States to Sri Lankan security forces personnel. Emphasizing the need to strengthen the coastal guard services to combat drug trafficking, the State Secretary has stated that the US is willing to assist in this endeavor.
The two sides have agreed to work together on human rights issues in international fora. Expressing his satisfaction over the existing friendly ties between Sri Lanka and India, US Secretary Pompeo has stated that the United States wishes to see that the Indian Ocean remains a zone of peace, to which the President has responded that he also hopes to see peace in the Indian Ocean.