Cablegate: Message From Minister of Foreign Affairs

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




E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: Message from Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lakshman Kadirgamar to Secretary Colin Powell

1. Mission received a letter from Minister of Foreign
Affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar to Secretary of State Colin
Powell, dated July 5, 2004. The text of the message is
contained below. A copy is being sent by fax to SA/INS
with the original to follow via pouch.

2. Accompanying Kadirgamar's letter was a letter from
Secretary Powell to the FM regarding the ASEAN Regional

Forum (ARF) that had been faxed on July 2, 2004 from Sri
Lankan Ambassador Subasinghe to Kadirgamar. Kadirgamar
references the letter from Secretary Powell in his own
letter. Mission, however, has not seen a copy of the
Secretary's letter before now.


3. The text of FM Kadirgamar's letter follows:

Begin text:

July 5, 2004

Honourable Colin L. Powell
US Secretary of State

Dear Secretary Powell

First let me tell you that it was indeed a great
pleasure to meet you again in Washington last May. I
would like to thank you and the officials of the State
Department for arranging for me, together with our
Embassy, a very comprehensive and productive programme
of events.

I would like to take this opportunity of formally
extending to you, also on behalf of President
Kumaratunga, a most cordial invitation to visit Sri
Lanka as a guest of the Government. You will recall
that when I extended this invitation to you orally at
the end of our recent meeting in Washington you
responded in the affirmative. You will receive a warm
welcome in Sri Lanka. Your name is very well known here
and you have won a great deal of respect and admiration
for the way in which you have handled an extremely
difficult and delicate task in the last few years.
Moreover, that grand, centuries old lady ?he banyan
tree ?t President's House awaits your visit. She is
acquiring new admirers all the time!

I would suggest that your officials and ours at the
Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington be in touch on the
question of suitable dates. Perhaps, when you next
visit our region you could include a stop in Sri Lanka.
I would also suggest that your visit should be so
planned as to allow you time to see at least some of the
sites, both scenic and historical, for which Sri Lanka
is famous.

Let me also say, once more, that under your stewardship
the State Department has played a very supportive and
constructive role, which is greatly appreciated by the
government and people of Sri Lanka, with regard to the
security of Sri Lanka and the negotiation of a lasting
settlement of the ethnic question that has bedeviled us
for some decades.

Finally, I refer to your letter of the 2nd instant
pledging the support of the United States for the
admission of Sri Lanka to the ASEAN Regional Forum
(ARF). This is an encouraging development for which I
thank you very much indeed on behalf of the Government
of Sri Lanka.

With very best wishes

Lakshman Kadirgamar, PC MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs

End text.


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