Sri Lanka to host international maritime conference

Source:Xinhua Published: 2011-11-10 13:55:24

Sri Lanka will host an international maritime conference next week to address security concerns in the Indian Ocean, the Sri Lankan navy said on Thursday.

The conference to be held in the southern port city of Galle will discuss threat to the busy sea lanes from pirates off the Somali coast.

The Sri Lankan navy said that the "Galle Dialogue" will see the participation of navy delegations from several countries.

"Today, the security of shipping in the Indian Ocean faces severe threat from sea piracy dominant off the Somali coast. This is steadily increasing to target shipping in the region. In spite of tremendous sea control efforts by multinational maritime deployments in threatened sea lanes and choke points, piracy seems to thrive unhindered. Therefore maintaining maritime security and stability has attained colossal significance with regard to freedom of navigation and uninterrupted commerce," the Sri Lankan navy said.

The theme for "Galle Dialogue 2011" is "Challenges and Strategic Cooperation for Indian Ocean Maritime Concerns".

Sri Lanka hopes to be an active partner in the maritime security cooperation in the Indian Ocean region, especially due to the strategically vital location the country is situated.

The Sri Lankan navy played a key role in defeating Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, bringing an end to the 30-year civil war on the island.

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