In the confirmation hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Elizabeth K. Horst, the nominee for US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, outlined a complete vision for US-Sri Lanka relations, placing a strong emphasis on strategic security measures and economic cooperation while championing human rights causes.

Central to Horst's testimony was her assertion of the need to monitor Chinese research vessels in the Indian Ocean, which are suspected to have ties to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“We have huge concerns and we have asked for that moratorium. We think it is Sri Lanka’s best interest”, said she.

The Ambassador Nominee stressed the importance of collaborating with Sri Lanka to enhance its maritime patrol capabilities to safeguard sovereignty and regional stability.

Moreover, Horst announced a robust economic agenda aimed at strengthening trade relations, encouraging private sector-led growth, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka.

Beyond strategic imperatives, Horst reaffirmed her dedication to advancing human rights causes, emphasizing support for marginalized populations and advocating for accountability, truth, reconciliation, transparency, and justice in Sri Lanka.

If confirmed, Horst stated that she intends to build upon the diplomatic legacy of outgoing Ambassador Julie Chung, ensuring continuity in US support for Sri Lanka’s economic recovery and stability amidst ongoing challenges.

“We are making sure any debt negotiations treat partners fairly. There is an element of the IMF program that looks at governments to make sure that any programs also take care to the most vulnerable and are spread fairly. If I'm confirmed, I will look to follow in the steps of the ambassador Chung or to make sure we continue to work with the IMF to help Sri Lanka,”

The Ambassador Nominee stated that she also aims to empower the embassy team in Colombo to drive bilateral relations forward, harnessing the strength of the Sri Lankan American community to strengthen ties between the two nations.

Horst's nomination represents a strategic pivot in US foreign policy towards Sri Lanka, marked by a multifaceted approach that prioritizes security vigilance, economic collaboration, and human rights advocacy.


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