India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives have entered into a tripartite agreement on maritime cooperation to secure sea routes in the Indian Ocean region.
National Security Advisor Shivshanker Menon, Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Maldives' Minister of Defence Mohamed Nazim signed the agreement onj Monday at the end of Meeting on Trilateral Cooperation on Maritime Security.
"At the conclusion of the meeting an outcome document detailing specific areas of cooperation in the maritime security sphere was signed," said a statement from Sri Lankan ministry of defence.
"The agreement was reached by all on the importance of raising the maritime cooperation between the three countries in the current context of maritime security environment in the Indian Ocean region," the statement said.
It said the deal follows several senior official and technical level consultations held among the three nations. Menon, who has served in Colombo as the Indian high commissioner in the past, is visiting Sri Lanka with a six-member delegation to hold talks with Sri Lankan leaders on the controversial 13th amendment on devolution of power in the Tamil-dominated northern province.