Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says that India values its trilateral maritime security cooperation with Sri Lanka and Maldives and is exploring possibilities of expanding it to include others in the Indian Ocean region, particularly in Seychelles and Mauritius.
The Foreign Minister of India made this statement at the inauguration ceremony of a conference in the Bhubaneshwar city in the eastern state of Odisha on Friday.
The conference which was themed, Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade and civilisational linkages saw the participation of 20 nations from the region, popularly known as Indian Ocean Rim Countries, including Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Thailand and Mauritius.
Other countries including the USA and China are expected to send representatives as observers.
Foreign Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj said that maritime security is an important dimension of India’s bilateral relations with all Indian Ocean littoral states and through various formal and informal structures currently in place.
We look forward to building closer cooperation in the maritime domain, regularise bilateral maritime exercises and strengthen the dialogues between the navy and the coast guards with all littoral countries in the Indian Ocean region.
The Foreign Minister, however, lamented that full potential of intra-regional trade remains untapped because of poor communication and transport links and lack of information about the supply capabilities, among other barriers.