Trying to develop mechanism to share terror-related intelligence: Cravinho

India and the European Union (EU) have joined hands for launching joint military operations in the Indian Ocean against piracy activities. EU has deployed four warships and supporting military ships of EU member-countries and is engaged with the Indian Navy in developing synergy in the region.

“We have launched a concrete collaboration with India since December 2011 on anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean. We have put in place one of the biggest military operations — Operation Atlanta — against piracy in the Indian Ocean. We are developing a synergy with the Indian Navy in dealing with such situations,” Joao Cravinho, Ambassador and Head of EU Delegation to India, told journalists here.

Mr. Cravinho said EU has put in place a military effort to deal with the situation and make it secure. “Anytime, four warships and support ships of EU member-countries remain deployed in the Indian Ocean under this military operation. We will be working very closely with the Indian authorities and especially the Indian Navy on this issue.”

He said the EU bloc and India were seeking to put in place a concrete strategy for launching anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean, share intelligence and exchange high-level visits in an effort at forging a new strategic relationship on dealing with the new global security dimensions.

Mr. Cravinho, who took office on January 12, said the security dimension was novel in its relationship with India. “We have found some concrete results to put in place a strategy against counter-terrorism, cyber security and counter-piracy. We are trying to develop intense mechanism to share terrorism-related intelligence.” Interestingly, the India-EU summit is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on February 10 where security is going to be one of the key issues of discussion.

The EU Delegation Ambassador said exchange of visits of people involved in the security structure was taking place. Specific steps were being taken as experts were holding regular meetings to draw up a road map for the near-future cooperation.

On EU sanctions against Iran, he said it was up to India how to deal with Tehran and EU had always respected India's position on the issue. “Our sanctions determine what European countries do, determine what European companies do. We cannot determine what Indian companies do or do not,” he said.

The Ambassador said the sanctions were to step up pressure on Iran because the reports coming from International Atomic Energy Agency about its nuclear programme were worrisome for EU and global security. “Conversations with Iran have been taking place for quite a long time. There are doubts about the nature of Iran's nuclear programme. These are doubts that are not European Union's but are doubts of the UN and the IAEA too,” he said.

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