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Cablegate: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Invites Us to Become

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001128

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR SA/PAB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL ETRD ECON CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKAN FOREIGN MINISTER INVITES US TO BECOME
"DIALOGUE PARTNER" IN INDIAN OCEAN RIM ASSOCIATION FOR
REGIONAL COOPERATION (IOR-ARC)

Sensitive but Unclassified, please handle accordingly.

This is an action request, please see para 3.

1. Foreign Minister Kadirgamar has asked Ambassador to
consider possibility of US becoming a "Dialogue Partner" in
the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation
(IOR-ARC). IOR-ARC members include Australia, Bangladesh,
India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia,
Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Singapore, South Africa, Sri
Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, UAE and Yemen. Current IOR-ARC
Dialogue Partners include China, France, Egypt, Japan and UK.
The next meeting of the organization is in Colombo in
late-August, which prompted the FM's question.

2. The IOR-ARC exists to facilitate and promote economic
cooperation and trade among countries of the Indian Ocean
Rim. Dialogue Partner status may be granted to independent
countries with special interest and a "capacity to
contribute" to IOR-ARC initiatives.

3. Post has reviewed IOR-ARC materials provided by the MFA
and sees no compelling reason for US involvement at this
time. We have heard little about this group, other than from
the FM and do not foresee much opportunity therein to advance
US objectives. We are prepared to decline the FM's offer,
but await Washington's opinion. Please advise.
LUNSTEAD

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