The US Department of State has announced it will provide approximately $39 million in foreign military financing for Sri Lanka, pending Congressional approval. On 7 August, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert commented:
“The Secretary travelled to Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia last week for bilateral and multilateral meetings to advance the security of the United States and the region, and to underscore our support for a rules-based order, reaffirm our commitment to friends and allies, and demonstrate the robust engagement in the Indo-Pacific.
In Singapore, the Secretary outlined the security pillar of the administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy and announced nearly $300 million in additional funding intended for South and Southeast Asia.
We’ve gotten a lot of questions about this, so I just wanted to highlight some of what is involved in that program. There’s been a lot of interest in this.
“The funding represents a significant investment in our security relationships with Bangladesh, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, the Pacific islands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and others. The investment focuses on four key areas that are critical to ensuring a free, open, and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region. This includes maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster response, also peacekeeping capabilities and countering transnational crime. As part of the maritime security theme, we launched the Bay of Bengal Initiative to help enhance the capacity of civilian and military maritime actors in this vital region, which is home to important sea lanes linking the Indian Ocean to East Asia. We look forward to discussing with the Government of Sri Lanka how this contribution can support our Bay of Bengal initiative, and Sri Lanka’s humanitarian assistance and disaster response priorities.”