WHITE 3D EMBOSSES CAPITAL LETTERS

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage re- affirms the US Government’s continuing support for Sri Lanka and its commitment to further expand and enhance the bilateral relationship

Minister Milinda Moragoda, Minister for Economic Reform, Science & Technology, visited Washington D.C. from September 29 - October 1, 2003 for a series of bilateral meetings. Minister Moragoda’s visit to Washington D.C. follows the call on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe by Ms. Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs of the Department of State, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Sessions in New York. During his visit, Minister Moragoda met with senior officials of the US Administration, members of Congress and US business executives. US-Sri Lanka Bilateral Discussions Minister Moragoda met with the Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, Steven Hadley, Deputy National Security Advisor and Ms. Christina Rocca, Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs of the Department of State. The Minister discussed with the Deputy Secretary of State, the current status of the peace process, improving prospects of the Sri Lankan economy and other bilateral issues. Mr. Armitage re-affirmed the US Government’s continuing support for Sri Lanka and its commitment to further expand and enhance the bilateral relationship. Meeting with the Deputy National Security Advisor, Steven Hadley, at the White House, Minister Moragoda discussed the Prime Minister’s initiative for UN reforms and bilateral issues. The Minister met with the new Deputy United States Trade Representative, Josette Shiner, and Assistant United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Ashley Wills. The meeting was joined by the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Robert Zoellick. The Minister discussed the improving growth momentum of the Sri Lankan economy following the cease-fire agreement and the Government’s economic reform agenda. Ambassador Zoellick, whilst complimenting the efforts of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and the Minister in undertaking major economic reforms, also re-stated the commitment of the USTR to supporting the reform program through deepening the bilateral trade and investment relationship. Inaugural Meeting to launch the US-Sri Lanka Working Group at the United States Chamber of Commerce The Minister also addressed the inaugural meeting to launch the US-Sri Lanka Working Group at the United States Chamber of Commerce which was attended by thirty leading US companies. The meeting was co-hosted by Thomas Donohue, President of the United States Chamber of Commerce and Devinda R. Subasinghe, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States. The establishment of the US-Sri Lanka Working Group at the US Chamber of Commerce will promote increased business relationships with Sri Lanka and provide a strong impetus to deepening the trade relationship and the flow of US investments to the country. Meetings with Members of Congress Minister Moragoda met with Senator Michael Enzi (Republican–Wyoming), Representative Jerry Weller (Republican–Illinois) and Senator John McCain (Republican–Arizona). Senator Enzi, serves on the Committee on Foreign Relations and Senator McCain is Chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Representative Weller serves on the House Ways and Means Committee responsible for trade matters, especially for bilateral free trade agreements and Co-chairs the Sri Lanka Congressional Caucus. The Senators and the Congressman expressed their support for a US–Sri Lanka FTA and reiterated their commitment to strengthening the bilateral trade and business relationship. “Minister Moragoda’s visit to Washington following Ms. Rocca’s meeting with the Prime Minister in New York constitutes an emerging trend of regular Sri Lanka - US consultations on bilateral and global developments and issues,” said Ambassador Subasinghe. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington DC USA 01 October 2003