The commitment was made in a joint statement issued in Washington yesterday on the recently concluded first annual U.S. – Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue held in Washington, D.C.
In the joint statement, the United States welcomed the significant progress made in many areas during the past year, especially the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which enabled the setting up of independent commissions, and Sri Lanka’s co-sponsorship of a consensus resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2015, which demonstrated Sri Lanka’s strength as a nation committed to achieving lasting peace and prosperity inclusive of truth-seeking, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence that includes providing closure to the families of the missing, and implementing appropriate reforms to enhance the professionalism of security institutions.
The United States expressed support to Sri Lanka in fully implementing the commitments as agreed in the Human Rights Council resolution.
Both nations highlighted the growing bilateral cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United States and reaffirmed that the relationship is based on shared values and common goals of the two countries and their peoples.
The joint statement said that the Partnership Dialogue demonstrates the consolidation of cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka and serves to further strengthen and enhance bilateral relations in the widest sense, through regular and structured engagement.
Building on a long legacy of support for the Sri Lankan people since 1956, the United States plans to launch several programs to encourage investment in Sri Lanka’s economy, assist the Government in its efforts to institutionalize good governance best practices across key ministries, and support the process of reconciliation and development to which the government and people of Sri Lanka are committed.
At the Partnership Dialogue the delegations discussed Sri Lanka’s pivotal geo-strategic location within the Indian Ocean Region and how to strengthen cooperation on issues of regional importance bilaterally and through multilateral organizations like the Indian Ocean Rim Association. The United States encouraged Sri Lankan participation in its Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor initiative to increase economic connectivity among South Asian countries and with Southeast Asia, which is congruent with Sri Lanka’s participation in BIMSTEC and other forums. Both governments affirmed a shared desire to continue to collaborate on issues before the United Nations, including peacekeeping operations. Foreign Minister Samaraweera looks forward to participating in the 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Secretary Kerry, which is to focus on robust commitments to protect our oceans under the four focus areas of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts on the ocean. (Colombo Gazette)