Colombo: Top defence officials of India and Sri Lanka have held the seventh edition of their annual dialogue during which the two sides reviewed the bilateral defence and security cooperation and identified new avenues for engagement.

The two-day meeting of the 7th edition of the Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) between India and Sri Lanka, which began in New Delhi on Thursday was chaired by Defence Secretary Giridhar Armane and his Sri Lankan counterpart General Kamal Gunaratne.

During the meeting which ended on Saturday, the two sides reviewed the defence and security cooperation, the Indian High Commission said here.

Various ongoing defence cooperation initiatives were jointly reviewed and new avenues for engagement were identified during the ADD, it said.

Sri Lanka’s delegation included Air Marshal SK Pathirana, Commander of Sri Lanka Air Force along with senior officers from the Sri Lanka Army and the Navy.

The Indian delegation included officials from the Ministry of Defence, Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff, Service Headquarters and Ministry of External Affairs.

Sri Lanka and India agreed to increase the intensity of bilateral military exercises and vowed to avail maximum benefits from each other’s experience and capacities, a move that came amid China’s attempts to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region.

ADD is an annual apex-level defence engagement between the two countries to discuss regional security situations, common security challenges and avenues for closer defence cooperation towards ensuring ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ (SAGAR).