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. 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.
(Reopens FES 23) Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Presidential Transition Team in the US said that Sirisena thanked Vice President-elect Pence for his commitment to strong relations between the two nations and to government reform. "Vice President-elect Pence shared his gratitude for the desire to work together and complimented President Sirisena for the work he has done to heal Sri Lanka and unite the country following civil war," the statement said. According to the Presidential Transition Team, Pence also spoke with the President of Mongolia, Prime Minister of Jamaica, president of Cyprus, vice president of the European Union and president of Armenia. Trump has spoken with more than 40 world leaders so far, including the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.