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More maritime cooperation required- Prime Minister

Rafik JALALDEEN

The maritime domain facing many challenges requires more maritime cooperation and interaction among Navies of the states of the Indian Ocean region. Through that regional Naval capacities can be synergized for speedy and effective response, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka. The Prime Minister was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium(IONS) Technical Seminar yesterday.

The Prime Minister said that the Indian Ocean occupies an important position in the World's geopolitical and trade sphere. "This forum is an ideal opportunity to promote a shared understanding of the maritime issues facing the littoral nation states of the Indian Ocean and to formulate a common set of strategies designed to enhance regional maritime security", he added.

The Prime Minister observed that the maritime domain in the Indian Ocean is facing many challenges and that can be worked out on a common ground by establishing regional cooperation. "Safety, stability and security are an invisible part of mankind's endeavor to achieve physical, economic and even spiritual well being and prosperity", he added. He pointed out that hosting the IONS Technical seminar is clear evidence of the understanding and realizing the fact of this implication among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean region.

Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda said the threats facing present day law abiding states are not arising from territorial or ideological issues of other nation states. They are instead a bewildering variety of manifestations of malevolent non-state entities.

"To these problems must be added natural disasters and manmade catastrophes. These are not threats or challenges that can be met by states acting in splendid isolation, each secure in its military capability. These are common threats that demand common approaches and common solutions ", he added.

Admiral Karnnagoda noted that people are living in an era of rapid change in technology on a minute to minute basis in the mobility of ideas, opinion, people and capital. "Indeed, the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium was conceived of and designed within these very parameters of change.

The IONS initiative recognizes the strength that can be derived from cooperative engagement in our region", he stressed.

In this context the primary aim of the IONS is to promote mutually beneficial means, methods and mechanisms of constructive engagement which bear upon the maritime domain that evolve through a consensual, participative and cooperative approach into agreed remedies relevant to regional maritime security concern.

"This forum will be a springboard to foster maritime cooperation among the littoral states", he said.

He asserted that the Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in terms of area but unquestionably the first in terms of its impact on human civilization, adding that the region contains 1/3 of the world's population.

 

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