India and Sri Lanka have decided to expand defence ties following the successful conclusion of the third defence dialogue in New Delhi today.
At the invitation of the Defence Secretary of India, Shri G Mohan Kumar, Defence Ministry Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi undertook an official visit to India yesterday with a view of participating at the 3rd Indo – Sri Lanka Defence Dialogue held in New Delhi.
Since its inception in 2012, the annual Indo – Sri Lanka Defence Dialogue reviews the entire gamut of Defence Cooperation between the two countries while expanding its horizon into new areas of interests.
During interactions, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence emphasized on the importance placed by President Maithripala Sirisena on enhancing Defence and Security ties between the two countries, the Defence Ministry said.
Both sides further discussed on various issues of mutual interest and agreed on the necessity of continuing an active cooperation on Defence and security matters with a view of addressing common concerns and challenges for the establishment of security, peace and stability in the region.
It was also mutually agreed that, significant progress had been achieved since the 2nd Defence Dialogue held in Colombo (October 2014) including the successful conclusion of Staff-Talks between the respective Armed Forces, and the holding of the inaugural Staff-Talks between the Coast Guard Departments of both countries. Enhancement of bilateral ties in the areas of Training, Military and Defence Exchanges, Joint Exercises and Maritime Domain Awareness and assistance to the Sri Lanka Navy on the supply of off-shore patrol vessels, were some of the areas among others that were taken up for discussion.
During the visit the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence also paid a courtesy call on the Minister of State for Defence of India Rao Inderjit Singh and also the Indian National Security Advisor Dr. Ajit K Doval.