US Secretary of State Mike Pompei Oh will visit Sri Lanka and Maldives this month, officials from both Indian Ocean countries said Tuesday that the United States is working to respond to China’s growing influence in the region.
Pompeii O will hold two-way talks in Colombo on October 28, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
The two, accustomed to travel arrangements, said Pompeo would likely stop for hours in Maldivian capital Male on the same day.
The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “when the visit schedule is confirmed, we will announce the upcoming visit of official foreign delegations.”
China’s top diplomat, Yang Jie Qi, visited Colombo this month. In recent years, Beijing has surprised India, a traditional regional powerhouse, with more and more financing and construction of key infrastructure in Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Last week, an Indian government source said Pompei Oga, along with Defense Minister Mark Esper, will be visiting New Delhi this month for meetings with Foreign Minister Subramanja am Jai Shankar and Defense Minister Raj Nat Singh.