Sri Lanka is calling for a concerted regional effort to combat “non-traditional security concerns,” such as terrorism, violent extremism and cyber-crime.
Addressing the 26th session of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) last week in Bangkok, Thailand, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana stressed the necessity for global efforts to counter these threats, according to a Press Release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka came up for discussion at the forum as a type of threat the region should focus on. The meeting specifically condemned the Easter attacks as well as recent violence in New Zealand and the Phillippines.
The 26th ARF session focused on expanding confidence building measures and enhancing cooperation in areas such as the anti-terrorism effort, strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime, preventive diplomacy, countering violent extremism, promoting women, peace and security and ensuring the secure use of information and communication technologies, the release said.
In order to counter the menace of terrorism, the Meeting underlined the need to address its root cause and to develop a holistic approach in enhancing collaborations among the ARF participants in this endeavour. The Ministers also discussed and exchanged views on matters relating to regional and international issues of common interests.
While in attendance at the Forum, Minister Marapana conducted bilateral meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, A. K. Abdul Momen, Minister of External Affairs of India, S. Jaishankar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, Winston Peters and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Frederica Mogherini on the side-lines.
These meetings provided the opportunity to discuss most pertinent and current bilateral issues and paved way to further consolidate the existing relations with these countries.