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US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma to visit India from February 18

Source : Press Trust of India (PTI)

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma to visit India from February 18
United States’ Indian-American Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma

United States’ Indian-American Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma will be on a six-day long official visit to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives next week to strengthen bilateral ties with the nations, along with reaffirming America’s enduring commitment to a free, open, secure, and prosperous region.

Verma, who is currently the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, and the second senior post in the State Department, will travel to India, Maldives, and Sri Lanka from February 18-23 to strengthen America’s cooperation with each of these key Indo-Pacific partners.

Shortly following the two-year anniversary of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, his trip will reaffirm the United States’ enduring commitment to a free, open, secure, and prosperous region, a media release said.

In New Delhi, Verma will 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, said the official statement.

From India, Verma will travel to Male 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, which will help further increase people-to-people ties between the United States and Maldives.

Verma will conclude his trip in Colombo.

His meetings with senior officials will support US-Sri Lankan defence and maritime security cooperation.

He will visit the Port of Colombo’s West Container Terminal, where the United States is supporting Sri Lanka’s ongoing economic recovery through USD 553 million in financing to transform Colombo into a regional shipping hub.

Finally, he will meet with civil society leaders to hear their perspective on democratic governance in Sri Lanka and with government officials to voice US support for the protection of free speech and open discourse, a statement said.

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