Iran likely to participate in Naval conclave in Indian Ocean
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
New Delhi, Dec 25, IRNA
Islamic Republic of Iran is likely to participate in a Naval Conclave in Indian Navy's novel initiative to host a regional interactive in the Indian Ocean Rim in February next year.
Indian Navy in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs is hosting a regional Naval Chiefs Conclave and International Symposium on the Indian Ocean region from February 13-19 to which 31 countries mostly of the Indian Ocean rim have been invited.
Although Iran and Pakistan with their Navies positioned in the Indian Ocean rim are yet to give their nod for participation, a positive reply from Iran is expected soon, PTI reported here quoting Naval sources.
Modelled on the lines of the Western Pacific Naval symposium of the US Navy, the Indian Navy has set up a permanent grouping called Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.
Twenty-six countries including regional Naval powers like Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have already confirmed their participation.
The Indian Navy through the initiative is seeking to promote its influence and friendship among littoral states and also to promote security in the Indian Ocean region.
At the symposium which would be preceded by a day-long session of the Chiefs of Naval Staffs of the participating countries, experts would deliberate on issues like tackling sea piracy, terrorism through sea, security of crucial sea lanes in the Bay of Bengal, Arabian sea and Red Sea.
Asked why countries like the US, Japan and UK had been kept out of the symposium, Naval officials said the meeting was confined to littoral states of the Indian Ocean.
But surprisingly France, another major Naval power would be attending. It is because the French own an Island called Reunion, some 120 kms east of Mauritius.
The initiative for the symposium comes close on the heels of Indian Navy undertakings major joint exercises with most of the Persian Gulf nations including Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Oman as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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