US Vice President-elect Mike Pence calls Lankan President for bilateral ties

US Vice President-elect Mike Pence telephoned Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss issues pertaining to strengthening bilateral relations.

By: PTI | Colombo | Published:December 2, 2016 1:46 pm
Vice President-elect Mike Pence talks with reporters as he leaves Trump Tower, Monday, Nov. 28, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Pence had called Sirisena last evening and invited the Sri Lankan President to visit the US. (File)

US Vice President-elect Mike Pence telephoned Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and discussed strengthening relations between the two countries, the government information department said today.

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Pence had called Sirisena last evening and invited the Sri Lankan President to visit the US, it said. Sirisena congratulated Pence and US President-elect Donald Trump on their victory. He told Pence that the two sides could work with each other in a broad democratic space. The two leaders discussed several other issues pertaining to bilateral relations.

On Saturday, Sirisena had told a political rally that he was planning to write to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to drop the war crimes charges against Sri Lanka leveled at the UN Human Rights Council. The Obama administration had backed three successive resolutions against Lanka under the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa since 2012 — the last of which in 2014 recommended an international investigation.

The Tamil minority was expecting Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton to beat him and had offered religious prayers for her victory.