President Maithripala Sirisena has called on countries in the Indian Ocean region to reach a common agreement on tackling the illicit drug racket.
The president made this statement while addressing the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia today, March 07.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit commenced in Jakarta on the morning of March 07, with the aim of sustainable and balanced development of the member states in the Indian Ocean region.
Heads of state and representatives of twenty-one countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association are taking part in the summit.
President Sirisena was welcomed to the inaugural session of the summit at the Jakarta Convention Centre by his Indonesian counterpart, President Joko Widodo.
Heads of State, including President Sirisena signed the Jakarta Concord – Promoting Regional Cooperation for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indian Ocean to mark Sri Lanka’s commitment to the aforementioned efforts.
Speaking at the event, the president noted that the IORA remains a logical forum for its member states in dealing with current issues and challenges in the region and that while focussing on the economic advantages it is necessary to examine the dangers that set off from maritime terrorism and piracy.
The president focussing on illicit drug traffic by sea, noted that it has become an industry and that the various counter-trafficking measures taken have had no satisfactory end result.
“I suggest IORA to work out a stable legal order to confront this concern in conformity with the principles of the freedom of navigation”, he added.
Meanwhile, President Sirisena held discussions with several heads of states on the sidelines of the summit.
The president held discussions with South African President Jacob Zuma, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.