Amid muscle-flexing by China on high seas, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today declared India’s commitment to rule-based freedom of navigation as a responsible maritime stakeholder in the comity of nations.
India supported consensus-based principles and a peaceful, open, rule-based and stable world order and envision Indian Ocean Region (IOR) with the universal values of rule-based freedom of navigation and free trade in which the interests of all participating countries were protected, he said addressing the five-day second edition of the naval Commanders’ conference here.
The minister noted that the geographical location of India was something that made it unique in many ways. ”Surrounded by the vast expanse of ocean from three sides, our country is very important from the point of view of strategic, trade and resources,” he said.
Rajnath said the role of the Indian Navy had become very important in ensuring the security of this region. He expressed happiness that the Indian Navy was effectively carrying out its responsibilities.
Speaking about the rapidly changing economic and political relations across the world, he said that these economic interests do cause some stress in the relations. ”Therefore, there is a greater need to maintain peace and stability within the Indian Maritime Zones in order to boost the trade and economic activities. The Indian Navy’s role in ensuring maintenance of this peace and stability in the region is going to increase manifold in the times to come.”
He was of the view that only those nations have been successful in gaining dominance across the world, whose navies have been strong.
Top Naval Commanders are attending the five-day meeting to review the Indian Navy’s preparedness and how the force should protect the country’s vital interests on high seas.
The conference serves as a platform for Naval Commanders to discuss important maritime matters at the military-strategic level as well as interact with Senior Government Officials through an institutionalised forum.
“Due to the rapidly changing geostrategic situation of the region, the significance and importance of the conference is manifold. It is an institutionalised platform to deliberate, direct, devise and decide issues of utmost importance, which will shape the future course of the Indian Navy,” the Indian Navy said.
During the five-day conference, Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh and other Naval Commanders will review major operational, materiel, logistics, human resource development, training and administrative activities undertaken by the Indian Navy in the last few months and deliberate upon future plans for important activities and initiatives.