Male: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday called for strengthening cooperation amongst maritime neighbours in the Indian Ocean region to address shared security challenges, and as the first responders.

Doval, who arrived in the Maldives earlier in the day, made the remarks while addressing the 5th NSA-level Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Meeting here.

“NSA Ajit Doval, in his statement, called for strengthening cooperation amongst maritime neighbours to address shared security challenges, and as first responders,” the High Commission of India in Maldives said in a tweet.

The two-day conclave is being attended by National Security Advisors and Representatives from India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, Bangladesh and Seychelles.

Speaking at the conclave, Maldives Defence Minister Mariya Didi highlighted the regional security challenges facing the Maldives such as narco-trafficking, human trafficking, piracy, fisheries, counterterrorism and violent extremism.

Mariya also welcomed Mauritius’ membership to the conclave, increasing the number of member states to 4, and expressed hope that the Observer States will join the Conclave soon.

The Colombo Security Conclave was founded as a trilateral security framework between India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives with four pillars of security cooperation, covering marine safety and security, human trafficking, counter-terrorism, and cyber security.

In November last year, India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka had conducted a two-day maritime operation in the Indian Ocean region to keep it safe and secure including for international trade.

Ships and aircraft of the navies of the three countries had participated in the maiden ‘Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) Focused Operation’.

According to officials, the ‘CSC Focused Operation’ was aimed at keeping the vital part of the Indian Ocean safe and secure for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of legitimate maritime activities.

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