India, Sri Lanka set up a security group

June 27, 2008 at 5:36 PM
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NEW DELHI, June 27 (UPI) -- India has set up a mechanism with Sri Lanka to establish contact on the security situation and other bilateral issues.

India and Sri Lanka have formed an informal mechanism to remain in regular touch on the security situation in the island nation as well as on bilateral issues, a foreign ministry official said Friday.

He said the three-member Indian group in the mechanism includes National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Defense Secretary Vijay Singh. The Sri Lankan team consists of the secretary to the president, the defense secretary and the political secretary to the president.

The Indian team had visited Colombo last week to meet the Sri Lankan group. Both sides held detailed discussions on the steps being taken by the authorities to ensure an incident-free South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Summit in August and other related matters. Sri Lanka will hold the crucial meeting of the SAARC, a body of South Asian nations, amid growing incidents of violence.

Notwithstanding repeated requests from Colombo urging New Delhi to help find a solution to its ethnic conflict, New Delhi has refused to intervene in the matter for domestic political reasons.

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