Colombo, Feb 15 (NIA) – Sri Lanka and Australia have agreed to further strengthen their commitment to counter the illegal people smuggling trade as several asylum seekers from Sri Lanka are arrested each year for travelling in boats illegally to Australia.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull, have underlined the importance of continuing to counter the illegal people smuggling trade, which puts vulnerable peoples’ lives at risk and enriches criminal networks, the Prime Minister’s office said in a joint statement here.
Both leaders emphasised their commitment to detect and deter people smuggling ventures and to strengthen the close working relationship between agencies.
Wickremesinghe is currently on a four day official visit to Australia, and in discussions held with Turnball, both leaders also agreed to have closer cooperation and engagement in the Indo-Pacific to help create a more prosperous and secure region.
“The Prime Ministers reiterated our shared interest in regional stability. As Indo-Pacific neighbours, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) members and trading nations, both countries benefited from a peaceful and secure maritime domain,” the joint statement said.
Pic Courtesy Reuters India