COLOMBO: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval arrived here on Friday for a trilateral maritime dialogue among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Sri Lanka will host the fourth national security advisor trilateral meeting on maritime security cooperation with India and Maldives on Friday and Saturday.
The meeting is to take place after six years - the last meeting was held in New Delhi in 2014. "NSA Ajit Doval arrived in Colombo for trilateral India-Sri Lanka-Maldives consultations on maritime and security cooperation. He was accorded a warm welcome by Army Commander Lt Gen @SilvaShavendra," the Indian Embassy in Colombo tweeted.
NSA Ajit Doval arrived in Colombo for trilateral India-Sri Lanka-Maldives consultations on maritime and security cooperation. He was accorded a warm welcome by Army Commander Lt Gen @SilvaShavendra #lka @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/ckZOK5c0IF— India in Sri Lanka (@IndiainSL) November 27, 2020
Doval and Maldivian defence minister Maria Didi are expected to lead their respective delegations. The Lankan military said that there will be observers from Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles.
The high-level engagement that covers a wide range of subjects is designed to initiate collective action on maritime security including maritime domain awareness, legal regimes, train in search and rescue, maritime pollution response, information sharing, curbing piracy drugs arms and contraband trafficking in the Indian Ocean region.
On Thursday, the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said the NSA-level trilateral meeting has served as an effective platform for cooperation among Indian Ocean countries. "The meeting will provide an opportunity for discussion on issues pertaining to cooperation in maritime security in the Indian Ocean region," the MEA said in a statement.
Doval is also expected to hold bilateral talks with Sri Lanka Defence Secretary Maj Gen (Retd) Kamal Gunaratne, official sources here said. This would be Doval's second official visit to Sri Lanka this year.
In January, Doval visited the island nation and discussed a range of bilateral issues, including strengthening cooperation in defence, intelligence sharing and maritime security with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.