India, Sri Lanka, Maldives in trilateral maritime security dialogue

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday participated in the Trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation meeting among India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives in Colombo

Nov 28, 2020
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India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday participated in the Trilateral Maritime Security Cooperation meeting among India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives in Colombo. The three nations discussed the maritime environment in the region, intelligence cooperation, and efforts to jointly address other common challenges in the Indian Ocean region. 

“The three countries took stock of the current maritime security environment and discussed mutual cooperation in the areas of maritime domain awareness, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief, maritime underwater heritage,” read the joint statement issued after the meeting. 

Issues like terrorism, radicalization, drug, arms, and human trafficking, cybersecurity were also discussed in the meeting, and the three nations decided to “improve intelligence sharing” to address these issues. 

To enhance the cooperation at the operational level, it was decided in the meeting to hold biannual meetings of  Deputy NSA level working groups. Today’s meeting came after a long gap of six years- the last such meeting happened in 2014 in India. 

The Maritime Security Cooperation dialogue is an important platform that has helped the three nations to improve their security coordination in the maritime domain in the region. 

The dialogue was attended was Mariya Bibi, Maldives' defence minister and Maj Gen Kamal Gunaratne, Sri Lankan defense secretary.  Sri Lanka hosted the fourth trilateral meeting with India and the Maldives while Bangladesh, Mauritius, and Seychelles participated as observers. 

Earlier on Friday, NSA Doval  met separately with the the Sri Lankan and Maldivian defence ministers and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahindra Rajapakshe. 

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