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National Security Advisor-level meet on Maritime Security Cooperation held in New Delhi

Mar 7, 2014 12:12 IST

India, Sri Lanka and Maldives on 6 March 2014 held national security advisor-level meet on maritime security cooperation in New Delhi. During the meet, the three sides reviewed and expressed satisfaction over the progress in the implementation of various activities in the identified areas.

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Other major new areas discussed for cooperation in the meet included
• Hydrography
• Training in search and seizure operations
• Exchanges between think tanks
• Joint participation in adventure activities
• Training on board Indian Sail Training Ships

The technical groups have also been asked to accelerate the implementation of joint activities and work out a programme of cooperation in the new areas. Some steps that has been achieved till date are
• The cooperation between the coast guards, navies and other institutions of the three countries has been achieved so far
• The three countries have made efforts to set up practical means of cooperation in the area of maritime security in the region, which doesn't affect any maritime security discussion with any other country
• The participant countries are also trying to put in place a system so that sea lanes are safe and marine resources are not destroyed

The third Indian Ocean-centered maritime security trilateral meet was also attended by two more island countries as guest namely Seychelles and Mauritius. The two nations have also shown their interest to participate in future interactions.

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The delegation team of the three countries was led by
• Indian delegation was led by Shivshankar Menon, Indian National Security Advisor, who also chaired the meeting
• Sri Lankan delegation by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Defense Secretary
• The Maldivian delegation was led by Minister of Defense and National Security Col (Retd) Mohamed Nazim

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

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The concept of trilateral meet begun in October 2011 after the three sides reached a state of preparedness to respond on the illegal activity such as piracy depending on their capability. The first NSA-level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation was held in Maldives. The fourth meet will be held in Maldives and the date has not been decided.

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