Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Afreen Akhter emphasizes collaboration and reforms in meetings with Sri Lankan officials
In an official visit to Sri Lanka, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Afreen Akhter, reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting Sri Lanka’s economic recovery. During her stay, which concluded on May 17, DAS Akhter engaged in a series of consultative meetings with government officials, highlighting the longstanding diplomatic relations between the two countries, which recently marked their 75th anniversary.
One of the key highlights of DAS Akhter’s visit was the discussion of the $270 million in new support that the United States has provided to Sri Lanka over the past year. Encouraging the Sri Lankan government to continue implementing economic reforms and transparency measures under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, DAS Akhter emphasized the importance of sustained collaboration and progress in ensuring long-term economic stability.
|DAS Akhter met with State Min of Defence Premitha Tennakoon to discuss ongoing collaboration in maritime security and tackling our shared regional challenges.[ Photo: Us Embassy in Colombo]|
During her meeting with Minister of Justice Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe on May 15, DAS Akhter stressed the significance of ongoing reform efforts in Sri Lanka. She further urged the government to foster collaboration with civil society, emphasizing the need to consider all voices in the legislative process, including pending legislation such as the Anti-Terrorism Bill. The United States continues to advocate for an inclusive and transparent approach in addressing important national issues.
DAS Akhter also held productive discussions with State Minister of Foreign Affairs Tharaka Balasuriya and State Minister of Defense Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon. Their talks covered various areas of mutual interest, including collaboration in maritime security and addressing shared regional challenges. The United States and Sri Lanka reaffirmed their commitment to working together to ensure peace, stability, and security in the region.
Before her departure, DAS Akhter took the opportunity to meet with a small group of journalists to further strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Sri Lankan media. This interaction provided an opportunity to exchange perspectives and foster a better understanding of the common goals and challenges faced by both countries.
DAS Afreen Akhter’s visit to Sri Lanka underscored the United States’ commitment to supporting the country’s economic recovery and strengthening bilateral relations. The $270 million in new support, along with ongoing collaboration on various issues, demonstrates the mutual desire for enhanced cooperation and shared prosperity between the United States and Sri Lanka.