The "Shangri- La Dialogue", the Asian region's biggest defence and security forum commenced in Singapore on 1st June 2012 with the participation of over 351 delegates representing Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers, top military officials and analysts from over 27 countries.
Leading Sri Lanka's delegation to this meeting, Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L.Peiris and Secretary Defence and Urban DevelopmentGotabayaRajapaksa had bilateral discussions on the first day with Minister for Defence of Singapore Dr. NG Eng. Hen and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Dr. DipuMoni.
Having given the strategic positioning of the country in the Indian Ocean, Prof. G. L.Peiris explained the significant role played by Sri Lanka in curbing international terrorism by ending a 30 year terrorist conflict and spoke of the constructive way forward adopted by the country in achieving national reconciliation and sustainable economic development. He expressed gratitude for the steadfast support these countries have extended to Sri Lanka at the UN and other regional forums.
Both Singapore and Bangladesh acknowledged their enhanced interactions and sound bilateral relations with Sri Lanka and the parties resolved to strengthen co-operation further in the defence and security spheres including combating human smuggling, transnational organized crimes and upholding maritime security in the Indian Ocean region.
Secretary Defence referred to the growing importance of the "Galle Dialogue" Maritime conference as a forum progressively gaining stature in discussing important issues of regional maritime security concerns and invited both Singapore and Bangladesh to participate in this annual event held in Sri Lanka.
The "Shangri-La Dialogue" will continue until 3rd June 2012 and Sri Lanka is scheduled to have bilateral meetings with more countries including India and the USA.
Courtesy: Ministry of Defence