Washington DC, 14 June 2022 (TDI): Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe spoke with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken today.
Sri Lanka’s present economic and political difficulties were discussed by the Secretary and Prime Minister.
During this difficult period, the Secretary reaffirmed the US commitment to the Sri Lankan people.
He expressed the need of supporting reforms that meet the concerns of all Sri Lankans, particularly democratic government, and human rights.
Sri Lanka’s economy is still in a state of flux, the worst since the country’s independence in 1948.
On Monday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to give him an update on the country’s dire position.
During the conversation, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe updated the status of current talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Wickremesinghe said that he wants to work closely with the US and enhance connections between the two countries, according to the Prime Minister’s media section.
In response to Wickremesinghe’s request, US Secretary of State John Kerry agreed to support the country and informed him that after the IMF talks, he would promote investment in Sri Lanka.
“It was a pleasure today to speak with Secretary of State Antony John Blinken,” he remarked.
“Upon completion of IMF negotiations, he assured his assistance to further promote US investments in Sri Lanka,” the island nation’s Prime Minister posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Ned Price, a spokesman for the US Department of State, stated that Blinken reaffirmed the US commitment to the Sri Lankan people during this difficult time.
Good call today with new Sri Lankan Prime Minister @RW_UNP Wickremesinghe. During these economically and politically challenging times, the U.S. stands ready to work with Sri Lanka, in close coordination with the International Monetary Fund and the international community.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) June 13, 2022
Sri Lanka Crisis
The island nation is during its worst economic downturn in history. With massive debt obligations and declining foreign reserves, the country has been unable to pay for imports, resulting in a shortage of necessities.
The World Bank announced earlier this month that it will send about $700 million to the island nation in the coming months.
The important breakthrough came when the World Bank’s Country Manager in Colombo, Chiyo Kanda, met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris last month to discuss the country’s present circumstances.