India, Sri Lanka hold defence cooperation dialogue

New Delhi: Aiming to enhance bilateral defence cooperation and to discuss the regional security situation, India and Sri Lanka have held the inaugural round of Annual Defence Dialogue here. The two sides were yesterday represented by the Defence Secretaries, officers of the armed forces and those from the Defence Ministry.

"Regional security situation including issues of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region dominated the inaugural Annual Defence Dialogue. Issues relating to bilateral defence interactions also came up for discussion at the meeting," Defence Ministry officials said here. Indian delegation comprising officers of the armed forces and senior officials from the Ministry was led by Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma. Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa co-chaired the meeting alongwith with officials.

The two officers later also called on Defence Minister AK Antony at his office in the South Block.India and Sri Lanka share a close defence relationship with several exchange programmes and exercises. While some of the officer cadets of Sri Lankan armed forces are trained in National Defence Academy (NDA) and Indian Military Academy (IMA), its officers also come to other military insititutions on exchange programmes.

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