“We look forward to discussing with the Government of Sri Lanka how this contribution can support our Bay of Bengal initiative and Sri Lanka’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response priorities,” the US Embassy in Colombo said.
US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo had traveled to Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia recently for bilateral and multilateral meetings to advance the security of the United States and the region, and to underscore our support for a rules-based order, reaffirm our commitment to friends and allies, and demonstrate the robust engagement in the Indo-Pacific.
In Singapore the Secretary outlined the security pillar of the administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy and announced nearly $300 million in additional funding intended for South and Southeast Asia.
US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert had said earlier that the funding represents a significant investment in the US security relationships with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Pacific islands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and others.
“The investment focuses on four key areas that are critical to ensuring a free, open, and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. This includes maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response, also peacekeeping capabilities and countering transnational crime. As part of the maritime security theme, we launched the Bay of Bengal Initiative to help enhance the capacity of civilian and military maritime actors in this vital region, which is home to important sea lanes linking the Indian Ocean to East Asia.” (Colombo Gazette)