Mike Pompeo Photograph:( Reuters )
In Sri Lanka, Pompeo while meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called China's Communist government a "predator"
After a stopover in Sri Lanka, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo met Maldives foreign minister Abdullah Shahid as he pitched for stronger ties between "Maldives and the US to promote security in the Indian Ocean."
Pompeo said the United States will open its embassy in the Maldives with a resident US envoy in Male as the Maldives foreign minister welcomed the move calling it a "historic step" which will form a "bridge" between the two countries.
During his interaction with the US secretary of state, the Maldives foreign minister Abdullah Shahid said that although the country's carbon footprint was very low but it was still suffering due to climate change. "We look upon the US and other large countries to work together," Shahid told Pompeo.
In Sri Lanka, Pompeo while meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called China's Communist government a "predator" even as the Chinese embassy in Colombo hit back, tweeting a promotional image for the "Aliens vs Predator" video game.
"Sorry Mr. Secretary Pompeo, we're busy promoting China-Sri Lanka friendship and cooperation, not interested in your Alien v Predator game invitation," it said. The Chinese embassy, however, pointed out that it "firmly opposed" US secretary of state's visit to "sow and interfere in China-Sri Lanka relations, and to coerce and bully Sri Lanka".
Pompeo's visit to the Maldives and Sri Lanka comes after his 2+2 dialogue with top Indian officials on Tuesday amid the India-China standoff along the LAC.
India and the US concluded a defence agreement during the talks as the two countries pledged to work strongly in the Indian Ocean region even as China makes inroads in the area with its military and naval push.