(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry had talks in Washington on debt restructuring and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his meeting with Sabry, Blinken noted that Sri Lanka and the US had almost 75 years of partnership with Sri Lanka.
“We'll celebrate that next year, and of course we are working very closely together on issues of global import, including the climate crisis, where Sri Lanka has been taking some important steps to help the world address it. And of course the United States has been working closely with Sri Lanka in the midst of the serious economic challenges that Sri Lanka is facing,” he said.
Blinken said the US has provided some $240 million in assistance and loans, and both countries are also working together both to support economic stability but also political stability and progress.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said the US was one of the first countries to recognize Sri Lanka.
He appreciated the support given by the US during a very testing time for Sri Lankans.
“We were very happy. And then we have had a very good relationship. I must take this opportunity, Secretary, to pay my gratitude for American people and your administration, Biden administration, for a lot of support during a very testing time for Sri Lankans. So we are grateful particularly for your humanitarian support – loans, grants – and technical support. We are extremely grateful, and we are looking forward to work for even better relationship and particularly in the Indian Ocean and eastern Pacific,” he said.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister also thanked the US Treasury for playing a leading role in facilitating Sri Lanka to approach the IMF, restructure its debt, and to go to the board sooner than later in order to get the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) as soon as possible. (Colombo Gazette)
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