International

Mike Pompeo cancels Sri Lanka visit

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. File   | Photo Credit: AP

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has cancelled his visit to Sri Lanka due to “scheduling conflicts”, the American mission in Colombo said on Wednesday.

Mr. Pompeo was scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on June 27 on a short visit. “Due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts during his upcoming visit to the Indo-Pacific region that includes accompanying President Donald J. Trump to the G20 Summit in Japan, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is unable to visit Sri Lanka as previously announced,” the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said.

The development comes in the wake of a raging debate within Sri Lanka’s political class on the government’s proposed signing of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), more recently referred to as the ‘Visiting Forces Agreement’, with the U.S. Amid speculation, a senior official told The Hindu: “SOFA was not on the cards during Secretary Pompeo’s visit this time... his cancellation has nothing to do with that.”

According to the source, President Sirisena was originally scheduled to travel to Cambodia and Laos at that time, but “we got to know last night that the trip has been postponed to August now.”

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Printable version | Aug 23, 2019 5:02:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/mike-pompeo-cancels-sri-lanka-visit/article28078190.ece

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