Minister meets House members during US visit | Daily News


Minister meets House members during US visit

Youth Affairs, Project Management & Southern Development Minister and Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister Sagala Ratnayaka paid an official visit to Washington D.C. from September 12-13.

During the visit, Minister Ratnayaka met with Chairman Mac Thornberry of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee and Chairman Ted Yoho of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

The minister also met with senior interlocutors of the National Security Council, the State Department, Defence Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

Minister Sagala Ratnayaka briefed them on current developments in Sri Lanka. They discussed the ongoing Sri Lanka–U.S. partnership and opportunities for expanding bilateral cooperation within the framework of President Donald Trump’s Indo-Pacific Strategy. In this context, he welcomed the recent announcement by the U.S. of approximately $39 million in Foreign Military Financing for Sri Lanka, pending congressional approval.

Minister Ratnayaka also expressed Sri Lanka’s appreciation to the U.S.for the transfer of the high-endurance ex-U.S. Coast Guard cutter to the navy in August. The cutter will be the largest ship in the Sri Lankan naval fleet and will strengthen bilateral defence cooperation and enhance the capacity and operational capability of the navy to more effectively secure the country’s maritime interests.

Sri Lankan Embassy Chargé d’affaires Priyanga Wickramasinghe and senior Embassy officials were with Minister Ratnayaka in the bilateral discussions.

Minister Ratnayaka also visited California where he attended the 2018 International Democrat Union (IDU) Meeting from September 16-18 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who is the Chairman of the Asia Pacific Democrat Union has been an IDU Vice Chairman (ex-officio) since 2005.


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