Antony Blinken assures Sri Lanka of support to promote American investments once IMF negotiations are over

Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe explained the current status of the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.

Published - June 14, 2022 12:20 pm IST - Colombo

U. S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. File

U. S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

U. S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has assured crisis-hit Sri Lanka of support to promote American investments in the country after the completion of IMF negotiations, as he spoke with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss the island nation's current economic and political challenges.

Also Read: Chinese, U.S. envoys meet in Colombo; pledge support to help Sri Lanka mitigate economic crisis

The two leaders spoke over the phone on June 13. Mr. Wickremesinghe explained the current status of the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He further said Sri Lanka is willing to have closer cooperation with the U.S.

"It was a pleasure speaking to Secretary of State @SecBlinken. I briefed him on the current economic situation and requested for our countries to work closer. He assured his support to further promote the U.S. investments in Sri Lanka upon the completion of IMF negotiations," Mr. Wickremesinghe tweeted.

Sri Lanka has decided to seek the assistance of the Washington-based global lender to combat the worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948. The talks between Sri Lanka and the IMF commenced on April 18.

The U. S. State Department, in a statement, said, "The Secretary and Prime Minister discussed Sri Lanka’s current economic and political challenges. The Secretary affirmed the United States’ commitment to the Sri Lankan people during this challenging time and the importance of supporting reforms that address the concerns of all Sri Lankans, including on democratic governance and human rights."

The nearly bankrupt country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, announced in April that it is suspending nearly $7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about $25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka's total foreign debt stands at $51 billion. The IMF in May said that it requires sufficient assurance from the country that it will restore debt sustainability during the debt restructuring process.

The IMF is planning to send an in-person mission in the coming weeks to Sri Lanka for policy discussions on a financial arrangement. The economic crisis has prompted an acute shortage of essential items such as food, medicine, cooking gas and other fuel, toilet paper and even matches, with Sri Lankans for months being forced to wait in lines, lasting hours, outside stores to buy fuel and cooking gas.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.