External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L. Peiris met with Republican Senator John McCain in Washington yesterday (Tuesday) and discussed the defeat of the LTTE, economic stability and reconciliation, commendations of the LLRC and Sri Lanka’s relationship with both India and China, the External Affairs Ministry said.
Senator John McCain is a former presidential candidate and one of the U.S. Senate’s leading experts on terrorism and national security.
Peiris also met with Democratic Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who is also a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a former Secretary of the U.S. Navy.
During that meeting Minister Peiris noted that reconciliation is Sri Lanka’s main focus along with the swift implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations acceptable to the government.
Senator Webb highlighted the history of the relationship between Sri Lanka to the United States, colonial rule and the importance of the institutions and rule of law that were established as a result.
Though Sri Lanka and the U.S already enjoy strong relations and trade ties, Prof. Peiris highlighted a number of paths for increased cooperation such as securing sea lanes against terrorism and piracy, expanded trade and the continuation of the existing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement through tourism, agriculture, and transportation industry expansion.
At a meeting with Republican Senator and member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Minister Peiris outlined Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts, and plans for future economic development.
Minister Peiris’ schedule for the week includes more meetings in Congress, with officials of the White House and on Friday a session with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.