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Cindy McCain meets with Sri Lankan president as US highlights ‘commitment to the people’

Senior US Ambassador Cindy McCain met with the Sri Lankan president and other officials in the country, as she highlighted the “United States’ long-standing commitment to the people of Sri Lanka,” on a visit to the island.

McCain, the US Permanent Representative to the UN Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome, will reportedly “assess humanitarian needs, inspect US-funded assistance, and advocate for long-term strategies to build food security for all Sri Lankans” during her trip.

She met with Ranil Wickremesinghe, alongside US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, as well as Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary Aruni Wijewardane in Colombo.

“I reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to the people of Sri Lanka,” she tweeted.

Earlier today Ambassador McCain visited schools, agricultural research facilities, and community organizations, as well as meeting with recipients of US government-funded programs.

Attending a meeting at Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Agriculture, McCain said the US is working to provide support for Sri Lanka's agricultural development.

Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector was devastated by a decision from froerm Sri Lankan president and accused war criminal Gotabaya Rajapaksa to ban chemical fertilisers – one of many moves that exacerbated the ongoing economic crisis.

Last week, US Under Secretary Victoria Nuland has assured continued support for Sri Lanka through its economic crisis, as she met with Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry in New York.

Nuland’s meeting came just days after USAID Administrator, Samantha Power, visited the island and met with representatives of opposition parties to discuss Sri Lankan governance.

During the meeting, TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran advised Power “that accountability must be pursued at the UNHRC and elsewhere”. Sri Lanka is currently being discussed by the UN Human Rights Council, where a resolution on accountability for mass atrocities is to be taken up.

The US continues to maintain close ties with Sri Lanka, including through the handing over of a vessel to the Sri Lankan navy earlier this month.

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