US Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Sri Lanka on historic visit

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Colombo, May 2: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Sri Lanka on Saturday on the invitation of country's Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

This is Kerry's first visit to the island nation and also first visit of a US Secretary of State to Sri Lanka in a decade.

John Kerry arrives in Sri Lanka

Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, NSC Senior Advisor and Director for South Asian Affairs Joshua White, Chief of Staff Jon Finer, Acting Spokesperson Marie Harf, and Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd, JCS have also accompanied Kerry on his visit to Sri Lanka, reported citing the State Department.

Colin Powell was the last Secretary of State who visited Sri Lanka in early 2005 after the 2004 tsunami.

John Kerry will meet President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan on Saturday.

Read More: US, India to discuss progress on defence, nuke cooperation: John Kerry

His visit is seen as a measure to support Sri Lanka's new government to restore democracy and mend the relationship that was somewhat deteriorated during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. Rajapaksha was tilted towards China.

The Secretary of State is also scheduled to lay the foundation for the new US Embassy in Colombo. He will depart Sri Lanka Sunday to visit Kenyan capital Nairobi.

OneIndia News

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