GIS - October 30, 2012:An interactive session between a 32-member media delegation from 19 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) and scholars of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) was held yesterday in New Delhi, India. The objective was to provide a platform for discussion for participants to better understand India’s foreign policy.
The media delegation is in India to cover the forthcoming meeting of the 12th Council of Ministers of the IOR-ARC scheduled on 2 November 2012 in Gurgaon, Haryana. The Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr A. P. Neewoor, is heading the Mauritian delegation at the Council of Ministers meeting.
The Director General of IDSA, Dr Arvind Gupta, chaired the proceedings of the interactive session for the media. Dr Gupta gave an overview of India’s foreign policy which he said is not only about diplomacy, stressing that India has opened up to the rest of the world. Today India is reaching to every part of the globe be it Latin America, South America, Africa or Central Asia, South East Asia and the Gulf region, he said , adding that India’s interest, political, economical and security extend to vast regions.
In a statement after the interactive session on the issue of maritime security in the Indian Ocean region, Mr S. S. Parmar, research fellow at the IDSA, recalled that India is patrolling the Exclusive Economic Zones of three nations namely Mauritius, Maldives and the Seychelles. As regards Mauritius, Mr Parmar, said that the patrolling exercise for the country dates even far back because of the National Coast Guard and with officers following various training such as diving courses or basic training.
“Mauritius has a vast sea area which can be virtually impossible for the country alone to patrol right up to the extremity. The country can concentrate on nearby parts, which is very important, but how does it reach beyond that?” he questioned.
In order to ensure that the Indian Ocean region remains stable, Mr Parmar said, it is crucial to have cooperative engagement. As it is, this region is a very stable one as well as very peaceful, but it does not take too long for a dispute to occur and that is where we have to be careful, he added.