India and the US have agreed to provide enhanced training facilities for military personnel from Sri Lanka, it was announced on Tuesday.
This followed meetings Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had with General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defence Minister AK Anthony in Singapore.
Defence Minister AK Antony. Image courtesy PIB
The meetings took place on the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue.
“As a coastal nation, the meetings recognised the pivotal role the Sri Lanka Navy could play in strengthening the security of sea lanes in the Indian Ocean,” a Sri Lankan foreign ministry statement said.
It said the three countries “resolved to co-operate closely in drawing on their synergies in combating international terrorism.
“As two key strategic partners of Sri Lanka, the US and India responded positively to a request for enhanced training opportunities for capacity building of defence personnel in their institutes of repute.”
The statement said the US and India commended the “incremental and steady progress” made in Sri Lanka’s north and east, the former war zone, in rehabilitating those displaced by decades of conflict.