MINISTER PEIRIS CONTINUES HIGH-LEVEL GOVERNMENT MEETINGS IN WASHINGTON
G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, meets with Sen. Robert Casey, (D-Penn.,) on Capitol Hill Thursday.
External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris (third from left) and Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriay (left) meet with officials of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Minister of External Affairs Prof. G.L. Pereis met with members of Congress and a U.S. Trade Representative Thursday on the third-day of his five-day diplomatic mission to the United States.
The Minister has encouraged officials in the U.S. government and members of Congress to give Sri Lanka a “Fresh look,” following the conclusion of the 25-year conflict against terrorism and the government’s efforts to redevelop Sri Lanka.
Minister Peiris took part Thursday in several meetings in Congress. One session included a meeting with Sen. Robert Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. Sen. Casey’s committee has previously held hearings that focused on the conflict in Sri Lanka.
The Minister, accompanied by Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, also briefed senior staff of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, several of whom have traveled recently to Sri Lanka.
The committee last year issued a report that recommended, “a broader and more robust U.S. approach to Sri Lanka that appreciates new political and economic realities in Sri Lanka and U.S. geostrategic interests.”
Earlier Wednesday, a press conference at the National Press club was cancelled prior to its start by the public relations firm that scheduled the event.
Also Thursday, Michael Delaney, the assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South Asia, called upon Minister Peiris to discuss economic development.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has supported Sri Lanka’s efforts to attract foreign investment. Last October Mr. Delaney played an instrumental role in a private-public partnership conference to attract new business to Sri Lanka in Colombo. A similar conference is planned for next October in Colombo.
Minister Peiris is in Washington to further strengthen the Sri Lankan-U.S. relationship. He has so far met with a number of senior U.S. officials and members of Congress, and has conducted a series of media interviews.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Prof. Peiris to meet with her on Friday. On Monday, May 24, he met with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon before coming to Washington.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
28 May 2010