India hosted the third NSA-level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation between Maldives, Sri Lanka and India on 6 March 2014 in New Delhi. Indian National Security Advisor Shri Shivshankar Menon led the Indian delegation and chaired the meeting. The Maldivian delegation was led by Col (Retd) Mohamed Nazim, Minister of Defence and National Security, and the Sri Lankan delegation by Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development.
Delegations from Mauritius and Seychelles also participated in the meeting as Guest countries. Mr. Motichand Seebah, Permanent Secretary in Prime Minister’s Office, represented Mauritius, while Ambassador Maurice Loustau-Lalanne, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented Seychelles.
India, Sri Lanka and Maldives launched the Trilateral Cooperation in Maritime Security in October 2011 at the first NSA-level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation in Maldives. At the second meeting in Colombo in July 2013, the three countries agreed on a roadmap for cooperation in maritime security, comprising the following three categories of activities:
- Initiatives to enhance Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) through access to systems run under the aegis of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), such as Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) services and sharing of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data;
- Training and capacity building initiatives in areas of MDA, Search and Rescue, and Oil Pollution Response; and
- Joint activities including trilateral exercises, maintaining lines of communication on illegal maritime activities, formulation of marine oil pollution response contingency plans and cooperation in legal and policy issues related to piracy.
During the third NSA-Level meeting in Delhi, the participants reviewed and expressed satisfaction over the progress in the implementation of various activities in the identified areas. They also discussed new areas of cooperation including hydrography; training in Visit, Board, Search and Seizure Operations; training on board Indian Sail Training Ships; exchanges between think tanks; and joint participation in adventure activities.
The participants directed the Working/Technical Level Groups to meet at an early date to accelerate the implementation of joint activities and work out a programme of cooperation in the new areas.
The participants also welcomed the presence of Mauritius and Seychelles in the meeting. They noted that participation of Mauritius and
Seychelles in this initiative would contribute to enhancing maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
The next NSA level Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation would be held in Maldives on a date to be decided through diplomatic channels.
March 6, 2014
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