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August 05, 2018

Secretary of State of the United States, Michael Richard Pompeo yesterday announced intent to provide nearly US$300 million in security assistance to improve security relationships across the Indo-Pacific region including Sri Lanka.The assistance announced at the ASEAN Regional Forum yesterday will cover projects in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Pacific Islands, the Philippines, Vietnam and others.

It includes US$290.5 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to strengthen maritime security, humanitarian assistance/disaster relief (HA/DR), and peacekeeping capabilities, and $8.5 million in International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INCLE) funds to counter transnational crime.

“This funding commitment comes shortly after Secretary Pompeo and other senior Administration officials announced new economic and development initiatives at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Washington DC, demonstrating a strong, whole-of-government U.S. commitment to both economic and security engagement and assistance in the Indo-Pacific,” a statement from the Office of the Spokesperson at the U.S. Department of State noted.

“The United States currently shares commercial shipping information with India and will work with other partners in the Bay of Bengal, including Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to enhance the capacity of civilian and military maritime actors in the Indian Ocean Region to improve the target areas of detection, information-sharing, and response to emerging threats,” the statement said referring to the Bay of Bengal Initiative.