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US Deputy Secy Of State Richard Verma To Visit India From February 18

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Washington, DC: United States Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma will travel to India, Maldives and Sri Lanka from February 18-23. The visit is aimed at strengthening cooperation between the US and each of these Indo-Pacific partners.

He will first travel to India, where he is scheduled to meet with senior government officials, business leaders, and entrepreneurs to advance the US-Indian global strategic partnership on a full range of issues, including economic development, security, and technology, according to a US Department of State press release.

In the press release, the US Department of State said, “Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard R Verma will travel to India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka on February 18-23 to strengthen the United States’ cooperation with each of these key Indo-Pacific partners.”

“Shortly following the second anniversary of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, his trip will reaffirm the United States’ enduring commitment to a free, open, secure, and prosperous region,” it added.

On Friday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Munich and held talks on the sidelines of the ongoing security conference in the German capital.

The talks between the two leaders centred on the ongoing situation in West Asia, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific.

Taking to his official handle on social media platform X, the EAM posted, “Great to meet my friend US @SecBlinken this afternoon on MSC 2024 sidelines.”
“Our talk centered on the situation in West Asia, Ukraine and Indo-Pacific. Reviewed the continuing progress in our bilateral ties,” he added.

After concluding his visit to India, Richard Verma will travel to Maldives to meet with senior officials and advance shared priorities in increasing economic cooperation and promoting maritime security. He will also tour the planned office space for a new US Embassy in Male, according to the US Department of State press release.

He is also scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka and hold meetings with senior officials who will support US-Sri Lankan defence and maritime security cooperation. He will visit the Port of Colombo’s West Container Terminal, where the US is supporting Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic recovery through USD 553 million in financing to transform Colombo into a regional shipping hub.

Verma will meet with civil society leaders in Sri Lanka to hear their perspectives on democratic governance in Sri Lanka and with government officials to voice US support for the protection of free speech and open discourse.

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