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    Sri Lanka looks forward to regular high level interactions with U.S.

    August 26, 2015

    Sri Lanka has agreed to prioritize closer economic cooperation with the United States as the island nation is keen to enhance the bilateral relations with its single largest export market.

    Addressing the media following discussions with the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal, and Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski, Minister Samaraweera said the Tuesday's discussions focused on continuing to build the multifaceted bilateral relationship between the two countries.
    "We have continued the dialogue that began following the election of President Sirisena in January and my appointment as Foreign Minister then", said Minister Samaraweera and added, " During our previous meetings and following to my visit to Washington in February, this year, we agreed to rebuild our multifaceted bilateral relationship. Several new areas of cooperation were identified during the very successful visit of Secretary Kerry to Colombo in May this year."
    "Our discussions today focused on follow-up on those understandings and on working towards even closer and tangible links. We discussed steps being taken by the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena to promote reconciliation and to strengthen the rule of law as part of our Government’s overall objective of ensuring good governance, respect for human rights and strengthening our economy," Samaraweera said.
    In keeping with the specific pledge in President Maithripala Sirisena’s Manifesto of January 2015, and through political stability by holding the most free and fair elections in this country, the Minister said he outlined measures being taken to address concerns regarding alleged human rights violations, including through independent domestic mechanisms.
    He also said that they have agreed on prioritizing closer economic cooperation. According to the Minister. the United States is Sri Lanka’s single largest export market and  23% of Sri Lanka's total exports enter the US market. 
    The government look forward to regular high level interactions at all levels, reflecting the current trajectory in the US - Sri Lanka relationship in order to enhance trade and business relations and encourage more US investors to take advantage of economic opportunities in Sri Lanka, Minister Samaraweera said.

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