- India to host Indian Ocean Region Defence Minister’s meet
- Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the meeting will work on boosting India’s role as a security partner and boost Indian-made defence equipment
- The conclave will also promote dialogue in an institutional, economic and cooperative environment
The Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh, on Thursday, will host a meeting with his counterparts from countries who share the Indian Ocean Region with the aim at boosting the role of India as a security partner of choice as well as securing markets for the Defence equipment made in India.
The one-day meeting of the Defence Minister of the Indian Ocean Region will happen the sidelines of the Aero-India show in Bengaluru.
According to the Ministry of Defence, 18 of the 28 countries have already sent their delegates with the others being represented by their diplomatic envoys in India or will be joining the meeting via a video link.
Four countries – Comoros, Iran, Madagascar, and the Maldives – will be represented at the ministerial level, on the other hand, Australia, Kenya, Kuwait, Mauritius, Myanmar and Seychelles will be represented by their ambassadors and high commissioners in New Delhi, the Indian defence ministry said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said, “India is geographically central to the Indian Ocean and has a vast coastline of 7,500 kms. India’s vision for Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), as articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cannot be realised without close cooperation and engagements amongst countries in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR)”.
The Ministry also said, “Navigating through the pandemic year of 2020, India is taking the lead in organizing an international platform for the world Aerospace and Defence (A&D) leaders to exchange ideas and forge partnerships towards synergizing the efforts in the A&D sector”.
The Ministry said that the conclave “is an initiative to promote dialogue in an institutional, economic and cooperative environment that can foster the development of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean region”
The meeting would “address aspects related to defence industry–co-operation amongst participating countries, sharing of resources available in Indian defence shipyards for design and shipbuilding and Indian ports with friendly countries, information sharing towards increased maritime domain awareness, maritime surveillance and co-operation, disaster relief, responses to marine pollution and the development of technologies for harnessing marine resources”.
At the beginning of the Aero India Show on Wednesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had said that India wants to be “a reliable partner for friendly countries” and added that India’s interests lay beyond its shores.
India sees the Indian Ocean Region as its zone of influence and from a time now the country has been extending assistance to countries in the region — relief at the time of calamities like oil spills and cyclones besides helping in hydrographic surveys and gifting patrols boats to countries to secure their exclusive economic zones.