Sri Lanka and EU to strengthen cooperation on counterterrorism 

The EU-Sri Lanka ad hoc dialogue on counterterrorism cooperation concluded in Colombo with a number of insights arising from the weeklong discussions.

Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove led the EU delegation to Sri Lanka.

The urgency of the dialogue comes as a result of the recent terrorist attacks that the island nation fell prey to – although the need to set up a mechanism for counterterrorism cooperation between the EU and Sri Lanka was discussed in February at the 22nd Joint Commission meeting held in Brussels.

Counterterrorism measures, countering radicalisation and violent extremism, security cooperation, capacity building and the listing of the LTTE by the EU were among the topics discussed at the dialogue.

The overall exchange of information, experiences and technical assistance is said to have proved beneficial to both parties especially Sri Lanka, which remains on the path to recovery.

Moreover, the dialogue is believed to have served as a platform for Sri Lanka to harness the shared knowledge of other countries that have faced similar experiences and continue to battle terrorism.

It also shed light on Sri Lanka’s capacity to prevent attacks of this nature in the future and prepare adequate response mechanisms.

Apart from attending the dialogue, the team from the EU met with the Sri Lankan President, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence during its visit.