Cybersecurity among ‘4 pillars of cooperation’ in NSA meeting between India, SL, Maldives

In a trilateral security meeting held between Sri Lanka, India, and the Maldives on August 4, the nations identified  “four pillars” of cooperation in areas related to terrorism and radicalization, marine safety and security, trafficking and organized crime, and cybersecurity, the Indian High Commission said in a statement on Friday. Held virtually due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the first Deputy National Security Adviser  (NSA)  level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave was hosted by Sri Lanka to hold discussions on vital cooperation and coordination to address the key contemporary security challenges in the region. 

The high-level NSA meet was held under the Chairmanship of Chief of Defence Staff and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva with the participation of Deputy National Security Adviser of India Pankaj Saran and National Security Adviser›s Office Secretary at the President›s Office of Maldives Aishath Nooshin Waheed. Bangladesh, Mauritius, and Seychelles participated as observers, and were participated by Principal Staff Officer to Armed Forces Division of Bangladesh Army Lt. Gen. Waker Uz Zaman, Mauritius Prime Minister’s Office Permanent Secretary Pusmawatee Sohun, and Seychelles People›s Force Chief of Defence Forces Colonel Micheal Rosette. 

To hold regular interactions, joint exercises

The NSA talks were held under the widened format of the Colombo Security Conclave, which held talks over the specific proposals for cooperation related to the four pillars of cooperation identified by the participant countries. The three nations agreed to hold regular interactions, joint exercises, capacity building, and training activities and enhancing their capabilities to keep up with the spirit of regional cooperation. 

“The meeting was marked by convergence of views on common security threats and was held in a warm, positive and forward looking manner,” Indian High Commission said in a statement on Friday. “The meeting identified four pillars of cooperation under the Colombo Security Conclave, namely, Marine Safety and Security, Terrorism and Radicalisation, Trafficking and Organised Crime and Cyber security,” the mission added. 

The decision to establish the Colombo Security Conclave was agreed upon in November 2020 at the NSA-level meeting of India, Lanka, and the Maldives. The meeting aims to strengthen cooperation on the maritime and security issues trilaterally among the three key Indian Ocean nations. 

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