India has recently pledged a USD 50 million security assistance to Sri Lanka as National Security Advisor Ajit Doval called on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday , 18 January. Bilateral issues, including strengthening cooperation in defence, intelligence sharing and maritime security were discussed in the meeting.
Doval arrived in Colombo on Saturday on a previously unannounced visit during which he also met several foreign diplomats and discussed important issues of mutual interest.
On Saturday President Rajapaksa tweeted: “A very cordial discussion was held with National Security Advisor of India, Ajit Doval today. Strengthening of bilateral cooperation on national security, intelligence sharing, maritime security and fostering of regional collaboration, were some of the key points of discussion.”
The President’s office said Doval pledged that India will provide USD 50 million to Sri Lanka to help the country purchase equipment for its security forces.
During the talks, India also pledged to provide assistance to Sri Lanka with technology on intelligence gathering, reported The Sunday Times.
The President’s office said President Rajapaksa and Doval also discussed improving bilateral relations and strengthening cooperation between the armed forces and coastguard agencies of the two countries and maritime security.
India’s pledge for enhancing defence cooperation comes days after Russia said it will assist Sri Lanka, which is seeking ways to consolidate its regional position through balanced diplomacy and attracting foreign investments, to improve its defence capacity.