NSA Doval to arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday to participate in regional maritime dialogue

Colombo: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will arrive here for a trilateral maritime dialogue among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives beginning on Friday, Sri Lanka’s military spokesman said on Thursday.

Sri Lanka will host the fourth national security advisor trilateral meeting on maritime security cooperation with India and Maldives on November 27 and 28, military spokesman Brigadier Chandana Wickramasingha said.

The meeting is to take place after six years – the last meeting was held in New Delhi in 2014.

Doval and Maldivian defence minister Maria Didi are expected to lead their respective delegations.

There will be observers from Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles, the military said.

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.

In New Delhi, the External Affairs Ministry 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.

During his visit, India pledged USD 50 million assistance to Sri Lanka to help the country purchase equipment for its security forces.

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