India, Sri Lanka and Maldives to discuss security concerns; Maritime Cooperation also on agenda

By Financial Express

India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval made an official visit to Sri Lanka on November 27, 2020, on the invitation of Secretary to the Ministry of Defence of Sri Lanka Major General (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne to participate at the Fourth National Security Advisor Level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation between India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

The two days Trilateral Meeting on November 27-28, 2020 would be attended by NSA Doval, Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gunaratne and Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Didi. Representatives from Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles are also expected to attend the meeting as observers.

The fourth NSA level meeting is taking place after a gap of six years. The NSA level dialogue among the three countries was inaugurated in 2011 in the Maldives. Second and the third meeting held in Sri Lanka in 2013 and India in 2014 respectively.

The trilateral dialogue during 2011-2014 proved to be quite effective to address maritime security issues and concerns. During the second meeting in 2013, a roadmap for maritime security cooperation was agreed by the three countries which include initiating measures to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), sharing of Automatic Identification System (AIS) and Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) data; training and capacity building initiative in areas of MDA, Search and Rescue (SAR), Oil Pollution Response, as well as Joint activities including trilateral exercises, maintaining lines of communication on illegal maritime activities, formulation of marine oil pollution response contingency plan, and cooperation in legal and policy issues related to piracy.

Newer areas of cooperation including hydrography, training in Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations, training on-board Indian Sail Training Ships, exchanges between think tanks and joint participation in adventure activities were discussed during the third meeting in 2014.

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