Goverment says foreign ministerís U.S. visit successful

Goverment says foreign ministerís U.S. visit successful

February 15, 2015   05:36 pm

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The Sri Lankan government on Sunday said the just-concluded visit to the United States by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was successful.

Samaraweera was in the United States to brief U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the efforts being taken by the new Sri Lankan government to address human rights concerns.

The Sri Lankan foreign minister also sought to mend ties with the United States, which had been strained in the last few years under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka had been accused of committing human rights abuses during the final stages of the war between Tamil Tiger rebels and the military which ended in May 2009.

The United States led efforts to push Sri Lanka to agree to an international probe on the war but the former government rejected the move.

The External Affairs Ministry said that the visit by Samaraweera, which was his first to the U.S. capital since assuming office as the minister of foreign affairs, followed the visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal to Colombo earlier this month.

Inviting Kerry to visit Sri Lanka at an appropriate time, Samaraweera said that he looks forward to working closely with the secretary of state and other important partners in the United States to enhance relations between the two countries to a state of excellence.

During his visit, the minister spoke on the post-presidential election developments in the country, including steps being taken for reconciliation, strengthening democracy and good governance and also set out foreign policy objectives of the government, the External Affairs Ministry said. - Xinhua

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