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Sri Lanka took over as Chair of Indian Ocean Rim Association; India as Vice Chair

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EAM S Jaishankar participates in 23rd Council of Ministers meetingOn October 11, 2023, Sri Lanka took over as Chair of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) for the period 2023 to 2025 during the 23rd Council of Ministers’ (COM) meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 11 October 2023.

  • Sri Lanka took over from the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, the current Chair of IORA (2021 to 2023).
  • Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Ali Sabry will chair the Council, the highest decision-making body of the IORA.

India assumed the ViceChair role of IORA for 202325. India is set to take over the chairship of IORA during 2025-27.

23rd COM Meeting of IORA:

The 23rd COM Meeting of IORA was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka hosted by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The meeting was held under the theme “Strengthening Regional Architecture: Reinforcing Indian Ocean Identity”.

Note: The Ministers’ meeting was preceded by the 24th Committee of Senior Official (CSO) Meeting on 9-10 October 2023.

India’s participation:

  • India participated in the 23rd COM of IORA and 24th CSO meeting of IORA.
  • The Indian delegation was led by External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar.

Key Points:

i.During the meeting, discussions were held on ways to cooperate on the six priority areas identified by IORA, including Trade and Investment, Maritime Safety and Security, Fisheries Management, Disaster Risk Management and Blue Economy, among others.

ii.The COM will review IORA’s recent activities and outline future cooperation.

iii.The COM adopted the Colombo Communique and the ‘IORA Vision 2030 and Beyond’, among other IORA related documents.

iv.The COM meeting saw participation of sixteen Ministers including the Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh, India, Iran, Mauritius, Malaysia and South Africa.

About Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA):

It was formed in 1997 (then called the Indian Ocean Region-Association for Regional Cooperation) in Mauritius. It comprises 23 countries spanning Africa, West Asia, South Asia, South East Asia, Australia, and Indian Ocean littoral states.

  • The Council of Foreign Ministers, the group’s apex body, meets annually, rotating chairmanship every two years. Sri Lanka is the current Chair, succeeding Bangladesh, and India serves as Vice-Chair

IORA Members:

i.23 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, the Comoros, France, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the UAE and Yemen.

ii.11 dialogue partners: China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Türkiye, the U.K. and the U.S.

India, Sri Lanka launch logo celebrating 75 Years of diplomatic ties

India-Sri Lanka launch logo to mark 75th year of diplomatic ties. It was shared by Union Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Ministry of External Affairs.

  • The logo is shaded with hues of the two national flags. It depicts the national emblems and captures the spirit of partnership, friendship and close ties between the two countries.

Notably, Union Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited Sri Lanka on 10-12 October, 2023 which was his second visit to Sri Lanka in 2023. There he attended COM of IORA, and had bilateral meetings in Colombo.

Recent Related News:

i.Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe made an official two-day visit to India from 20- 21st July 2023. He was welcomed by Union Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V Muraleedharan. This marks Wickremesinghe’s first trip to India since he was elected president of Sri Lanka in July 2022.

ii.India and Sri Lanka adopted a vision document titled, “Promoting Connectivity, Catalysing Prosperity” that would strengthen maritime, air, energy and people-to-people connectivity to boost the economic partnership between India and Sri Lanka.

About Sri Lanka:
Prime Minister– Dinesh Gunawardena
Capital– Colombo (executive and judicial capital); Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte (legislative capital)
Currency– Sri Lankan Rupee