According to the statement issued by the Srilanka’s Ministry of Defence- In keeping with the discussions held at the previous National Security Advisor (NSA)-level trilateral meetings on Maritime Security Cooperation with India and the Maldives, a Secretariat for Trilateral National Security Advisors on Maritime Security Cooperation was established at the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Headquarters, Colombo yesterday.
The entire world is benefitted with this initiative as the Indian Ocean is the lifeline of the entire world, said the Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Colombage during the event while expressing his concerns into the importance of the Indian Ocean. It was decided to establish a secretariat for the convenience of future conclaves based on an agreement reached at the 04th NSA-level trilateral meeting hosted in Colombo on November 28, 2020, with the participation of defence chiefs from three participating countries. According to the Navy Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, the Newly formed secretariat will be operational 24/7.
It is intended that NSA-level meetings will resolve concerns about the region’s current maritime security climate, as well as explore mutual cooperation in the areas of humanitarian aid and disaster relief, joint exercises, and capacity building. Also, Participants can also discuss new areas of cooperation in maritime security and threats, marine pollution and oil spill response, maritime and underwater heritage, maritime legal provisions, and COVID-19 response. Meanwhile, Director Naval Operations was appointed as Coordinating Officer of the newly formed secretariat body.
The three countries are preparing for any potential threats and collaborating in the maritime domain as the geopolitical situation in the Indian ocean region shifts.