IN BureauNew Delhi, Nov 28 : The tri-lateral meeting between India, hosts Sri Lanka and Maldives on maritime and security cooperation got underway in Colombo earlier today.India is being represented by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval while Sri Lankas Secretary of Ministry of Defence, Maj Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne and Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi are also participating in the fourth edition of the NSA-level meeting.
The meeting will provide an opportunity for discussion on issues pertaining to cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region (IOR) and has served as an effective platform for cooperation among Indian Ocean countries.
Earlier meetings were held in Maldives (2011), Sri Lanka (2013), and India (2014).
Mauritius and Seychelles attended the third meeting as guest countries.This is for the first time that the meeting is being held at the NSA level.
On the sidelines of the trilateral meeting, India’s NSA is also expected to have other high-level bilateral engagements.
Doval, who arrived in Colombo Friday, was accorded a warm welcome by Lt Gen Shavendra Silva, the Acting Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Sri Lankan Army.
Doval then met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a meeting which was described by the Lankan leader as another exercise to “strengthen regional cooperation.”
Doval then had a one-on-one meeting with Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Major Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne.“NSA Ajit Doval met Major Gen (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne, Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka and discussed matters pertaining to the growing defence and security partnership between the two countries.
The two dignitaries agreed on several steps to further strengthen the valuable cooperation between two countries which also contributes to peace and security in the region,” tweeted the Indian Embassy in Colombo.
Apart from the Defence Secretary of Sri Lanka, Doval also had a meeting with the Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi and held a detailed discussion on “deepening bilateral partnership between India & Maldives in defence and security.”
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