Indian Navy chief discusses defence cooperation with Sri Lankan President, PM

Indian Navy chief discusses defence cooperation with Sri Lankan President, PM

Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral R Hari Kumar, called on Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in Colombo.

The visiting Indian navy chief held discussions on furthering defence cooperation with the Sri Lanka political leadership.

“Call on (Sri Lanka) President Ranil Wickremesinghe by CNS Indian Navy. Discussions focused on furthering defence cooperation between and strengthening bilateral ties. lka’s role in steering Colombo Security Conclave towards ensuring peace and security in the region was acknowledged,” the Indian mission in Sri Lanka tweeted.

“Admiral R Hari Kumar CNS Indian Navy called on PM DCR Gunawardena. Discussed the importance of strong defence ties between and means to further strengthen existing linkages between Armed Forces of the two countries,” the Indian mission said in another tweet.

Admiral Hari Kumar Indian Navy arrived in Colombo on December 12, on a four-day official visit to Sri Lanka, at the invitation of Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, Commander of Sri Lanka Navy.

During the Navy chief’s visit, the Indigenous Indian Naval Ship Sahyadri, a multi-role missile frigate of the Indian Navy also made a port call at Colombo to complement his visit.

The ship engaged in training engagements with Sri Lanka Navy and participated in Maritime Partnership Exercises with Sri Lanka Navy. It may be recalled that the Indian Navy shared close interactions with Sri Lanka Navy during the annual exercise SLINEX 21 in March 2022.

Further, the Indian Navy provided a maritime reconnaissance aircraft to Sri Lanka Air Force in August 2022 to augment its maritime capabilities. Indian Navy is also providing customised and specialised training to Sri Lanka Navy including in marine technology.

In an earlier release, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said the visit of CNS symbolises strong relations and close cooperation between the two countries, with Sri Lanka being accorded the status of ‘Priority One’ partner by India.

“It would strengthen the existing bilateral maritime relations between the two countries and areas of common security concern and enhancing capacity and capability building initiatives towards ensuring peace in the region would be discussed during the visit,” the high commission said.

The visit also indicates the growing camaraderie and friendship between the two nations in line with India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. The Admiral will be the Chief Guest at the passing out parade of Naval and Maritime Academy, Trincomalee on December 15. (ANI)

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