India-EU naval exercise to set stage for greater cooperation
The joint naval exercise between warships of the European Union (EU) and India conducted in the Gulf of Aden on June 18 and 19 will be the precursor of strengthened operational cooperation at sea, said a statement by the EU.
One frigate from the Indian Navy and three from EU’s Somalia anti-piracy force under Operation Atalanta played out the scenario of an anti-piracy operation that included cross-deck helicopter landings, live firing, a night-time joint patrol and a “naval parade” in the high seas off the coast of Somalia.
The EU intends involving India in its CRIMARIO II (Critical Maritime Routes in the Indian Ocean) initiative to secure sea lines of communication vital for international trade and prosperity. While CRIMARIO I (2015 – 2019), was for the Western Indian Ocean region, CRIMARIO II will expand its geographical scope to South and Southeast Asia.