US State Secretary says that the MCC agreement is one of many opportunities offered by the US, and that it is ultimately up to Sri Lanka to choose whether to accept it

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US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo says that the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement is one of many opportunities offered by the United States, and that it is ultimately up to Sri Lanka to choose whether to accept it. He made these remarks while speaking to local media. He stated that great democracies like the ones in Sri Lanka, and in the United States have a shared vision on how life ought to operate. “There ought to be sovereign nations and free people who get the chance to live the lives they want, and the US is here to share that message,” he said, speaking on his maiden visit to the island nation. Mr. Pompeo reiterated that US will not attempt to use debt to extort actions by Sri Lankan government.

Us secretary of state Mike Pompeo has assured to work continuously in corporation with Sri Lanka to achieve economic development targets. When he met President Gotabhaya Rajapakse yesterday, he said that the aim of the US is to further enhance present strong bilateral relations between the two countries. He said that prominence will be given to promote US investments in Sri Lanka. The US also expressed its support for the promotion of the tourism industry. President Gotabhaya Rajapakse said that what is needed by Sri Lanka is not to obtain loans continuously, but to achieve a high economic development by attracting foreign investment. He said that Sri Lanka maintains a neutral foreign policy. The relations with other states are based on several factors. Historic, cultural relations and development corporation are main among them. The president emphasized that he is not prepared at all to sacrifice Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in foreign relations. The president said that China provided aid to develop infrastructure in the country after the end of separatist terrorism, and Sri Lanka was not caught in a debt trap as a result. Both parties agreed to further strengthen the long standing defence corporation between Sri Lanka and US. The President pointed out the need to strengthen coast guard service to eradicate drug rackets and the US secretary of State agreed to provide assistance in that regard. The US secretary of state said that the US wishes to see the Indian Ocean remains as a peace zone end expressed his happiness about the friendship between Sri Lanka and India. President Gotabhaya Rajapakse said that Sri Lanka’s aspiration is to see peace in the Indian ocean region. Both parties agreed to work in corporation on human rights issues in international arena.

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