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Colombo security conclave welcomes Bangladesh as fifth member

The Colombo Security Conclave (CSC), a regional security grouping, officially welcomed Bangladesh as its fifth member state on Wednesday. The announcement came during the 8th Deputy National Security Adviser (DNSA) level meeting, hosted virtually by Mauritius. The existing members – India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and the Maldives – warmly received Bangladesh into the fold, while Seychelles participated as an observer state.

The Colombo Security Conclave was established in 2020, when India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives agreed to expand the scope of their trilateral meeting on maritime cooperation. Mauritius joined the conclave at the fifth meeting of the grouping in Male in March 2022.

During Wednesday’s virtual meeting, member states reviewed the progress of activities outlined in the CSC’s Roadmap for 2023-2024. They also discussed decisions taken at previous high-level meetings, including the 7th DNSA level meeting hosted by the Maldives in July 2023 and the 6th NSA level meeting in Mauritius last December.

India was represented by Pankaj Kumar Singh, Deputy National Security Adviser (Internal Affairs), while Bangladesh’s delegation was led by Lt. Gen. Mizanur Rahman Shameem, Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Other key participants included Major General (Retd.) Hameed Shafeeg from the Maldives, Yoidhisteer Thecka from Mauritius, and General LHSC Silva from Sri Lanka.

The CSC Secretariat in Colombo, Sri Lanka, was represented by Acting Secretary Commodore AD Weerasinghe. Seychelles’ delegation was headed by Lt Col Michael Hollanda, Commander of Land Force, Seychelles Defence Forces.

Member states agreed that the 7th NSA level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave will be held in India later this year, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

India was represented by NSA Ajit Doval at the 6th National Security Adviser level meeting of the Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) that was held in Mauritius on December 7, 2023 and saw participation by Mauritius and Sri Lanka, as well as delegates from Seychelles and Bangladesh.

(Inputs from ANI)

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