National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who arrived in Maldives, on Wednesday called for strengthening cooperation between maritime neighbors in the Indian Ocean region to address shared security challenges. He made this remark while addressing the 5th NSA-level Colombo Security Conference (CSC) meeting in Maldives. The Indian High Commission in Maldives said in a tweet, “NSA Ajit Doval in his statement calls for strengthening cooperation among maritime neighbors to address shared security challenges.” India, Sri Lanka, Maldives in the two-day conference. National Security Advisors and representatives from Mauritius, Bangladesh and Seychelles are participating.
At the conference, Maldivian Defense Minister Maria Didi highlighted the regional security challenges facing Maldives such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, piracy, fisheries, counter-terrorism and violent extremism.
Maria also welcomed the membership of Mauritius in the conference, which has increased the number of member countries to 4. He expressed hope that the observer members would soon attend the conference.
Colombo Security Conference was established as a trilateral security framework with four pillars of security cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, which include maritime security, human trafficking, counter terrorism and cyber security.
In November last year, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka conducted a two-day maritime expedition in the Indian Ocean region with the aim of keeping it safe. This also included securing the region for international trade.
Ships and aircraft of the navies of the three countries had earlier participated in the ‘Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation’.
According to officials, the objective of the ‘CSC Focused Operation’ was to secure a significant portion of the Indian Ocean for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of lawful maritime activities.