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Maldives not part of 2023 'Colombo Security Conclave'

Mohamed Rehan
10 December 2023, MVT 13:10
The sixth NSA-level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave held in Mauritius this year; the Maldives, a founding member of the conclave, was not in attendance of the meeting-- Photo: Indian High Commission, Mauritius
Mohamed Rehan
10 December 2023, MVT 13:10

Reports so far have indicated that the Maldives is not part of the "Colombo Security Conclave" this year.

The conclave is a gathering of the region's leaders focused on maritime safety and security in the Indian Ocean.

The Colombo Security Conclave was formed in 2011 as a trilateral maritime security of India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The roadmap of activities was later expanded, with Mauritius joining as the fourth member and Bangladesh and Seychelles participating as observer countries. The sixth conclave meeting was held in Mauritius this year.

The Indian High Commission at Mauritius said via X, that the National Security Advisors of India, Mauritius and Sri Lanka as well as delegates from Seychelles and Bangladesh participated in the sixth NSA-level meeting of the conclave on Thursday, last week.

The post did not mention the Maldives, indicating it had not participated in the meeting this year.

Meanwhile, some of the Indian media have also reported the absence of the Maldives in the meeting as well.

Indian media criticized the Maldivian government's decision to participate in the "China-Indian Ocean Region Forum and Development Corporation" in Beijing, China, last week, instead of attending the conclave meeting.

Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef lead the Maldives delegation that participated in the forum held in China.

According to the President's Office website, Maldives took part in the fifth NSA-level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave last year, held in Cochin, India.

The conclave underlines regional cooperation and shared security objectives concerning all littoral nations in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), and focuses on areas related to the maritime domain including the tackling of threats from anti-national elements, maritime pollution response, search and rescue, and damage control at sea.

The conclave also addresses the curtailment of radicalism and terrorism, as well as organized crime, including smuggling, trafficking, and racketeering. It also focuses on the protection of vulnerabilities in cyber-security and technology.

In addition, the conclave focuses on providing humanitarian aid to crisis-afflicted areas in the region and assisting them in recovery.

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