US and Sri Lanka Forge Stronger Ties: Under Secretary Allen's Diplomatic Meeting Focuses on Economic Support and Strategic Partnerships

February 18, 2024

US Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Elizabeth Allen, convened with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary, Aruni Wijewardane, on Saturday, February 17th. The meeting, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, centered on amplifying the burgeoning positive rapport between Sri Lanka and the US, particularly as both nations commemorate the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

Under Secretary Allen affirmed the enduring commitment of the United States to bolster Sri Lanka's economic stability, pledging ongoing assistance to the government. Discussions also delved into strategies for enhancing interpersonal connections and outreach to the Sri Lankan diaspora.

Foreign Secretary Wijewardane extended gratitude for the support rendered by the US, acknowledging the aid provided by the US International Development Finance Corporation to the Colombo West International Terminal Private Limited in November 2023. She further appreciated the humanitarian and emergency assistance extended to mitigate Sri Lanka's economic hurdles. The US's facilitation in securing the Extended Fund Facility Programme (EFF) under the IMF was also warmly welcomed.

During the exchange, Secretary Wijewardane briefed Under Secretary Allen on Sri Lanka's strides in economic and reconciliation endeavors, highlighting the nation's priorities as Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

Accompanying Under Secretary Allen was the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, alongside officials from the Department of State and the US Embassy in Colombo. The meeting saw the participation of senior officials from the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry.