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Not ready to compromise independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, Gota to Pompeo

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stressed at the meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he was not ready to compromise the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation in maintaining foreign relations whatever the circumstances may be, a press release from his office said.

The press release said the President noted that China assisted in the development of the country’s infrastructure since the end of the separatist war. The President reiterated that Sri Lanka not caught in a debt trap as a result.

According to the press release, the US Secretary of State told the President yesterday that his country is ready to continually engage with Sri Lanka in its strive to achieve economic development goals. His country expects to further develop the already existing strong bilateral relations between the two countries, the Secretary of State said.

The high-level US delegation led by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the country last night called on President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. During the cordial discussion between the two parties, views on a number of areas of bilateral and regional importance were exchanged.

Expressing the desire of the United State to continue to work closely with Sri Lanka in achieving a high level of economic development, he said priority will be given to promote US investments in the country.

“Tourism is a key sector that contributes to employment and income-generation. USA is ready to give a helping hand to the development of this area, under a carefully prepared action plan,” Mr. Pompeo said as quoted by the press release from the President’s media division.

In response, President Rajapaksa said what Sri Lanka wants is not obtaining loans continually, but to achieve a high level economic growth by attracting more foreign investments. “We have already begun to remove bureaucratic red tapes that hinder foreign investment. Sri Lanka is a country that possesses necessary factors to achieve a high agricultural development. Our agriculture sector should be modernized. Scientific research should be conducted in order to reach this goal. We expect your assistance towards this end”, President Rajapaksa stressed.

Elaborating on the foreign policy of Sri Lanka, President said it is based on neutrality.

Relations between Sri Lanka and other nations are determined by several conditions. Historic and cultural relations, development cooperation are some of the priorities.

Source : Daily Mirror

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