India and the U.S. have agreed to enhance their maritime security cooperation, asserting safety of sea lanes of communication across the Indian Ocean is crucial for the economic growth for the entire region.
“One-fifth of the world’s energy supplies now travel across the Indian Ocean. The safety of the sea lanes of communication which criss-cross the Indian Ocean is crucial for the economic growth not just for India and the U.S. but for the entire region,” Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao said.
“Maritime trade routes in the Indian Ocean are vital for international commerce and global energy security and we have a shared interest in combating threats such as piracy. Therefore we have agreed to enhance our maritime security cooperation,” Ms. Rao said in her remarks on ‘Is there a future for the U.S.-India partnership?’ organised jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Brookings Institute, a Washington-based eminent American think tank.
“For instance, we are working together with the U.S. and the international community to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. Indian and U.S. navies are enhancing their collaboration to deal with natural disasters building on the experience gained so far from the coordinated action,” she said.
The diplomat said, “More broadly, our defence cooperation has grown significantly. The paradigm that we should visualise for defence cooperation should incorporate a strong component of joint production, research and co-development, which are all of strategic importance.”