Discussions to secure Obama visit ongoing

The Government says discussions are ongoing to secure a visit to Sri Lanka by US President Barack Obama.Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith P. Perera said that while Sri Lankan leaders visiting the US is nothing new, securing a visit to Sri Lanka by a US leader will be historic. US Secretary of State John Kerry, during his visit to Sri Lanka this year, had confirmed that the Government had extended an invitation to Obama to visit Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka lost the GSP plus concession after being accused of failing to meet human rights related expectations following the end of the war.However the current government, which took office in January this year, has shown progress in addressing the concerns raised by the EU.An EU delegation which visited Sri Lanka this year had said that it was considering Sri Lanka’s request to regain  GSP plus. (Colombo Gazette) Perera said that the new Government has been able to strengthen its diplomatic relations with all the countries from the time it took office in January this year.He also said that the Government is confident of regaining the EU GSP Plus trade concession by the end of this year and also lifting the EU ban on Sri Lankan fish imports. Sri Lanka and the US have mended strained relations after the new Government agreed to work with the US on the human rights issue.

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