India, Sri Lanka and Maldives to collaborate on security

Source: The Hindu

What is the news?

India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have agreed to work on “four pillars” of security cooperation, in a recent virtual meeting of top security officials of the three countries.

Background

The discussion comes nine months after India’s National Security Adviser visited Colombo for deliberations with the Secretary to Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence and Defence Minister of the Maldives. In this discussion, the three countries agreed to expand the scope of intelligence sharing.

Their meeting marked the revival of NSA-level trilateral talks on maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region after a gap of six years.

Four pillars of co-operation

The recent meeting identified “four pillars” of cooperation in

  1. Marine Safety and Security
  2. Terrorism and Radicalization
  3. Trafficking and Organized Crime
  4. Cybersecurity
Other relevant points
  • Colombo Security Conclave: The ‘Colombo Security Conclave’ among the three neighboring countries seeks to “further promote” maritime security in the Indian Ocean Region.
    • It was established in November 2020 at the NSA-level meeting of India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives to forge closer cooperation on maritime and security matters among the three Indian Ocean countries.
    • The initiative, related to military and security collaboration, assumes significance in the region, in the wake of the current geostrategic dynamic that India shares with Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
    • Earlier this year, India aired security concerns over China being awarded development projects on an island off Sri Lanka’s northern province, close to India’s southern border.
  • Maldives: Maldives’s engagement with members of the ‘Quad’, has been growing over the last year, especially in the area of defence cooperation. The Ibrahim Mohamed Solih government signed a ‘Framework for a Defence and Security Relationship’ agreement with the United States in 2020, an initiative that India welcomed.

Terms to know

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