US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Maldives

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a press conference with Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis at the CastelGrande as part of Pompeo's visit in Bellinzona, Switzerland, Sunday, 2 June 2019. (Samuel Golay/Keystone via AP)

The Indian Express News Agency has reported that the Mike Pompeo the Secretary of State of the United States of America (USA) is set to visit the Maldives before the US Presidential election in November. 

The newspaper reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will visit the Maldives and Sri Lanka after concluding a two-day trip to India next Monday. The pair will meet with Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh during the trip. 

The visit by the top US officials to Sri Lanka comes at a time when the US is reportedly concerned about the close relations Sri Lanka has with China. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has also announced that Mr. Pompeo will indeed visit the nation on October 28. No official confirmation has been provided by the Maldivian government so far. 

When questioned regarding the reported visit, the Maldivian Foreign Ministry stated that incoming visits of official foreign delegations will be announced once a visit is scheduled and confirmed. 

“The current administration welcomes visits from all friendly nations and as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and borders open, we look forward to welcoming dignitaries to the Maldives.” Said the Foreign Ministry. 

The reported visit comes after the two nations signed an agreement to strengthen military ties last month. The framework agreement will see more joint exercises and activities between the two nations.