To increase footprint in Indian Ocean, Centre signs key charter
A full membership of IONS is also significant on the backdrop of PM Modi’s visit to IOR countries last week
By: Pranav Kulkarni
In a significant boost to its intended influence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), India has finally signed the “charter of business” of the crucial Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) just short of the March 27 deadline.
The signing of charter makes India an empowered IONS member enabling it to play critical role of policy-making in the 35 member symposium and providing it the much-needed platform for dialogue with the IOR littoral nations. A full membership of IONS is also significant on the backdrop of PM Modi’s visit to IOR countries last week and the increased Chinese footprints in the region crucial to India.
“Over the past four-six months, government has realised that to tackle Chinese influence in IOR, synergised approach is necessary. On February 12, we signed the charter of business of IONS. It was drafted in March 2014 and signing the same before March 27 is mandatory for a nation to become a member of the symposium. India is one of the first 10 countries to have signed the charter. Those who do not sign will remain as observers,” said a senior naval official.
According to the official while Japan and China have been given observer status, the same to the US was denied as Iran opposed to the proposal.
“A full membership of IONS is important for a constructive maritime engagement with nations in IOR…Through a multi-lateral platform like IONS, we are creating a regional presence and thus avoiding the intervention of an extra- regional power in our area of interest,” said another Navy official.
Source:: Indian Express