National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Saturday called on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and had a "productive" discussion with him on the ways to diversify and deepen the bilateral relationship. Doval arrived here on Friday for a trilateral maritime dialogue among India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. He took part in the dialogue, held after 6 years, along with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Major Gen (Retd.) Kamal Gunaratne and Maldivian Defence Minister Mariya Didi on Saturday.
"NSA Ajit Doval called on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa & had a productive discussion. NSA Doval expressed hope that the India-Sri Lanka bilateral relationship would diversify and deepen further under the strong leadership of PM @narendramodi and President @GotabayaR @MEAIndia," the High Commission of India in Colombo said in a tweet. On the first day of his visit, Doval met Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gunaratne and they agreed on several steps to further strengthen the "valuable" cooperation between the two countries which also contributes to peace and security in the region.
He also called on Prime Minister and elder brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and conveyed greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mahinda Rajapaksa asked the senior Indian official for continued assistance to Sri Lanka in its bilateral help, the prime minister's office said on Friday. The high-level trilateral meeting is designed to initiate collective action on maritime security including maritime domain awareness, legal regimes, train in search and rescue, maritime pollution response, information sharing, curbing piracy drugs arms and contraband trafficking in the Indian Ocean region.
The President tweeted, “Had a fruitful discussion with Shri @Ajitdovalkumar, NSA #India this evening National Sec, Sec in the Indian Ocean, new Indian investments, continuation of infrastructure proj. & strengthening bilateral relations between #SriLanka & #India were the areas discussed at the meeting."
Had a fruitful discussion with Shri @Ajitdovalkumar, NSA #India this eveningNational Sec, Sec in the Indian Ocean, new Indian investments, continuation of infrastructure proj. & strengthening bilateral relations between #SriLanka & #India were the areas discussed at the meeting pic.twitter.com/FCMIT0GZS0
— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) November 28, 2020
This is Doval's second official visit to Sri Lanka this year. In January, he visited the island nation and discussed a range of bilateral issues, including strengthening cooperation in defence, intelligence sharing and maritime security with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.