EU and Sri Lanka hold informal counterterrorism dialogue

The European Union (EU) and Sri Lanka held an informal counterterrorism dialogue today, chaired on the EU side by EU Counterterrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove, accompanied by EEAS Head of Division for Counterterrorism John Gatt-Rutter, and on the Sri Lankan side by Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed A. Jawad.

Gilles de Kerchove underlined the EU’s solidarity with Sri Lanka following the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

Common challenges relating to violent extremism and terrorism were discussed and experience regarding responses was shared.

The EU underlined the importance of efficient coordination of counterterrorism efforts, the essence of focusing on the prevention of violent extremism and the importance of counterterrorism responses to be fully in line with human rights obligations.

The EU presented a support package for Sri Lanka under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace to be implemented with the UNODC and UNDP. The package worth EUR 8.5 million will notably focus on law enforcement, rehabilitation and disengagement, counter-narratives, and online radicalisation.

Following the dialogue, de Kerchove was set to hold meetings with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tilak Marapana.