US counterterrorism co-ordinator to visit Lanka

Colombo, September 24, 2002. Ambassador Francis X. Taylor, Co-ordinator of the US Department of State’s Co-ordinator for Counterterrorism, will visit Sri Lanka at month’s end. This was announced today by a spokesman at the US Embassy in Colombo.

While in Sri Lanka Ambassador Taylor will meet with his counterparts in the interior, foreign affairs, and security ministries, with whom he hopes to explore areas in which the US can be of assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka. "My emphasis," Ambassador Taylor has said of the visit, will be "on the integration of intelligence, law enforcement, legal, and diplomatic efforts against terrorism."

Taylor has served as the Department of State’s Coordinator for Counterterrorism, with the rank of Ambassador at Large, since July 2001. Because the Department is the lead US Government agency dealing with international terrorism, Ambassador Taylor’s office has primary responsibility for developing, co-ordinating, and implementing US counterterrorism policy. His duties include co-ordinating US Government efforts to improve counterterrorism co-operation with foreign governments, including the policy and planning of the Department’s Anti-terrorism Training Assistance Program.

During a 31-year military career, Ambassador Taylor rose to the rank of Brigadier General. Immediately prior to his State Department appointment he directed the US Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, where he was responsible for providing commanders of all Air Force activities independent professional investigative services in fraud, counterintelligence, and major criminal matters.

(US Embassy press release)