Noting that security of India and Sri Lanka was "indivisible", Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly pitched for enhanced cooperation in key areas of maritime security and counter-terrorism.
India’s PM addressing the Sri Lanka Parliament said India and Sri Lanka are two countries at the crossroads of the Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka's leadership and partnership will be vital for building a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous maritime neighborhood.
Modi noted that Indian and Lankan security and development was deeply linked with Indian Ocean. And that therefore, they could better achieve their targets if they were to increase cooperation and establish trust and respect. The Prime Minister emphasized that a future of prosperity requires a "strong foundation of security for our countries and peace and stability in the region."
"The Indian Ocean is critical to the security and prosperity of our two countries. And, we can be more successful in achieving these goals if we work together; build a climate of trust and confidence; and we remain sensitive to each other`s interest," Modi said.
“We deeply appreciate the cooperation that exists with Lanka on matters of security. We should expand the maritime security cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and Maldives to include others in the Indian Ocean area
," said Modi.
He said the two countries should expand the maritime security cooperation between India, Sri Lanka and Maldives to include others in the Indian Ocean area.
Modi’ speech urging regional cooperation in maritime security comes at a time when India had made a decision to establish a radar network in the region to spy on Chinese ships. Radars have already been established in Maldives and Modi launched work on establishing similar systems in Seychelles and Mauritius just last week.
Relations between India and Sri Lanka cooled
during former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's decade-long tenure but were rejuvenated after he was defeated in the January elections by Maithripala Sirisena.