Nov 28, Colombo: During a high-level trilateral dialogue on Saturday India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives took stock of the current maritime security environment in the region and agreed to further strengthen cooperation and ensure peace and security for common benefit.
The 4th National Security Adviser (NSA) Level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation commenced Saturday in Colombo with the participation of NSA level delegates from India and Maldives.
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Maldives Defense Minister Mariya Didi with respective country High Commissioners were present at the senior level meeting.
Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage and Defense Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne were also present at the inaugural session.
According to a joint statement issued by Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense, the three countries recognizing the significance of the forum for promoting meaningful cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region on common issues pertaining to maritime security -- took stock of the current maritime security environment in the region.
The top security officials discussed mutual cooperation in the areas of Maritime Domain Awareness, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, Joint Exercises, Capacity Building, Maritime Security and Threats, Marine Pollution, and Maritime Underwater Heritage. They agreed to further strengthen cooperation in dealing with these challenges, to ensure peace and security in the region for common benefit.
The three countries also exchanged views on common security threats and agreed to broad base cooperation by expanding the scope to improve intelligence sharing and include issues like terrorism, radicalization, extremism, drugs, arms & human trafficking, money laundering, cyber security and effect of climate change on maritime environment.
The Heads of Delegations agreed to meet regularly to share, discuss and ensure timely implementation of decisions taken at the Meeting. They also decided to hold Deputy NSA level working group meetings biannually for cooperation at operational level.
Acting Chief of Defense Staff, Tri-Forces Commanders, Inspector General of Police, Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard, Senior Officials of both Sri Lankan Foreign and Defense Ministries and Senior Military Officers are also present.