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India committed to capacity building of Sri Lankan armed forces: Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane Sri Lanka
Image: UNI

India committed to capacity building of Sri Lankan armed forces: Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 07 Jun 2023, 11:44 pm

New Delhi: Sri Lanka is India’s priority partner and in line with the country's ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, New Delhi stands committed to ensuring capacity and capability building of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces, said Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane on Wednesday.

The Defence Secretary addressed an Indian High Commission event in Colombo titled ‘India - Sri Lanka Defence Seminar cum Exhibition’ in a video message.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Sri Lankan State Minister of Defence Premitha Bandara Tennakoon. A large number of industries from both countries participated in the exhibition and showcased their products.

In his message, Aramane said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) is the underlying theme of India’s maritime policy.

"This vision is rooted in advancing cooperation within the region through inclusivity and using India’s capability to benefit its friendly countries in the common maritime neighbourhood," he said.

He highlighted the common security challenges faced in the Indian Ocean Region such as terrorism, piracy, drugs & arms trafficking and illegal migration.

He called for enhanced and active collaboration to deal with these challenges with the aim to create a safer environment.

The Defence Secretary emphasised that the Indian defence sector stands at the cusp of a major revolution and the focus is to establish a robust R&D and indigenous manufacturing ecosystem, while fostering innovation and entrepreneurship under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative.

He underlined that knowledge sharing in these areas would help strengthen ties between the two countries.

Sri Lanka is one of India’s major development partners and this is an important pillar of bilateral ties.

The Government of India has extended a US$ 150 million Defence Line of Credit to the Government of Sri Lanka.

Out of this, US$ 100 million credit has been utilised, a statement added.

(With UNI inputs)