US looking forward to continuing to engage with Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, says Washington official

Washington: The US has said it is looking forward to continuing engagement with the reinstated Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, now that the nearly two-month-long political crisis in the South Asian country has been resolved peacefully and democratically.

 US looking forward to continuing to engage with Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, says Washington official

File image of Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. Getty images

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena had controversially sacked Wickremesinghe as prime minister on 26 October and appointed Sinhala strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in his place.

The shock move had plunged Sri Lanka into an unprecedented constitutional crisis. Sirisena had to reinstate Wickremesinghe on Sunday after the Supreme Court ruled that his action violated the constitution and the legislature voted confidence in Wickremesinghe.

"We are pleased to have seen the democratic, constitutional processes play out through the courts in Sri Lanka, ultimately addressing the political crisis in keeping with democratic and constitutional norms," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia David Ranz told a group of Indian reporters on Wednesday.

"We look forward to continuing to engage with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and his cabinet as well as President Sirisena to advance cooperation on bilateral and regional issues of common interest," said Ranz, who just returned from a trip to Sri Lanka.

The US, he said, anticipates the Sri Lankan government will focus on taking steps to bolster the economy and restore the country's international standing.

"During my visit, I conveyed that, as a friend and partner of Sri Lanka for 70 years, the United States wished to see the political crisis resolved in a manner befitting Sri Lanka's democratic traditions and in keeping with its status as South Asia's oldest democracy," he said.

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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2018 12:04:43 IST