Sri Lanka, India & the Maldives agree to strengthen cooperation on Maritime Security (Photos)

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The 4th National Security Adviser (NSA) Level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation between India, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka was held in Colombo on Saturday (Nov. 28), with the participation of India’s National Security Adviser – Ajit Doval, Maldivian Defence Minister – Mariya Didi, and Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary – Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne, the Ministry of Defence said in a joint press release on Saturday (Nov. 28).

According to the joint press release, delegations from Mauritius and Seychelles were represented virtually at the Senior Official’s level.

“The three countries 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 in relation to the Indian Ocean region. The three states agreed to further strengthen cooperation in dealing with these Maritime Security challenges, to ensure peace and security in the region for common benefit,” the joint press release noted.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the three states also agreed to broaden cooperation by expanding the scope to improve intelligence sharing and include issues like terrorism, radicalization, extremism, drugs, arms & human trafficking, money laundering, cybersecurity, and effects of climate change on the maritime environment.

The Heads of Delegations agreed to meet regularly to share, discuss, and ensure timely implementation of decisions taken at the NSA meeting, the Ministry of Defence further noted that.

It was also agreed upon to hold Deputy NSA level working group meetings bi-annually for cooperation at the operational level.

The dialogue was conducted in adherence to strict health guidelines using the “Air Bubble” concept for the visiting delegations, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the release further noted.