EU, India commit to free, open & inclusive Indo-Pacific
The exercise aimed at strengthening operational cooperation at sea, including joint naval exercises and port calls, and protecting the sea-lanes of communication….reports Asian Lite News
The EU and India conducted a joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Aden on June 18-19 in a bid to boost their readiness for an anti-piracy operation in the region.
The exercise involved Indian Navy frigate INS Trikand, EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta assets, including Italian frigate Carabiniere (Atalanta’s flagship) and Spanish frigate Navarra, French frigate Surcouf and French amphibious assault helicopter carrier Tonnerre.
According to India’s Ministry of Defence, the exercise included cross-deck helicopter landings, complex tactical evolutions at sea, live firing, a night-time joint patrol and a naval parade in the high seas off the coast of Somalia, which has seen cases of piracy in the past.
The ministry said the EU and India are committed to a free, open, inclusive and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region, underpinned by respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, democracy, rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation and overflight, unimpeded lawful commerce, and peaceful resolution of disputes.
“They reaffirm the primacy of international law, including the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” the defence ministry said.