Updated May 21st, 2024 at 08:08 IST

Eye on China? Sri Lanka Says Committed to Safeguard India's Security Interests

Sri Lankan Foreign minister said that India's security concerns will be taken into consideration by Colombo

Reported by: Digital Desk
Representational | Image:FreePik
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New Delhi: Sri Lanka is committed to safeguarding India's national security interests, asserted Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry. Sabry called Colombo a "responsible neighbour", as he addressed New Delhi's concerns regarding Chinese vessels docking at the ports of Sri Lanka in the recent pase. Sabry said that Colombo is open to working with different nations, however not at a cost of other countries.

The Sri Lankan Foreign minister said that India's security concerns will be taken into consideration by Colombo. "We have very clearly stated that we would like to work with all countries, but any reasonable concerns regarding Indian security will be taken into note, and we will not allow anyone to harm that. Subject to that, of course, in a very transparent manner, we would like to work with all countries," said Ali Sabry, as quoted by ANI.

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On Chinese vessels docking at the island nation, Sabry said, "I just got to know that recently China has become India's biggest trading partner. So similarly, like you work with that. We would also like to work with everyone, but that should not come at anyone else, third parties cost. So therefore, let me reiterate, as a responsible neighbour and a civilizational partner we will not undertake anything that would harm the legitimate security concerns of India."

Sabry also highlighted how India is moving towards 'economic glory", adding that India's economic growth is not only good for the region but also for countries like Sri Lanka. He said Sri Lanka is also looking at a lot of investment in ports, renewable energy, and other infrastructure, which makes it a win-win situation for both nations. India had extended assistance of $4bn to Colombo when the country was going through financial crisis last year.

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India's Concerns Over Chinese Vessels

New Delhi has flagged frequent visits of Chinese ships to Sri Lanka. Last year, India had expressed its security concerns over the docking of the Yuan Wang-5 at the Sri Lanka's Hambantota port as it was shown as a research vessel with the capability of mapping the ocean bed, which is critical to anti-submarine operations of the Chinese Navy.

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Flagging the same, India's External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had said that any developments that have a bearing on India's security are "obviously of an interest to us"."What happens in our neighbourhood, any developments which have a bearing on our security, obviously are of an interest to us," Jaishankar said at a joint press conference after the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting.

Indian Submarine INS Karanj Docks at Colombo

Following this, in February this year, India's submaribe docked at Colombo. During Sri Lanka's independence day celebration, Indian Navy submarine INS Karanj docked at Colombo as part of an official visit. The countries had then called the visit a representation of the ongoing ‘cooperation and friendship’ between New Delhi and Colombo. 


 

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Published May 21st, 2024 at 08:08 IST