They focused on ensuring effective maritime security in the IOR with Iran amplifying the need to secure the region to carry out economic activity in trade and the movement of goods…reports Asian Lite News
The importance of the Indian Ocean, its straits and waterways for the continued growth of all nations, especially the regional countries, was discussed extensively at the third meeting of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) working group held in Tehran under the co-chairmanship of Indian Navy, earlier this week.
The IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.
Representatives of the naval forces of India, host Iran, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Oman attended the maritime security working group meeting held in the Iranian capital from October 17 to 19.
They focused on ensuring effective maritime security in the IOR with Iran amplifying the need to secure the region to carry out economic activity in trade and the movement of goods.
Iranian media quoted Commodore Babak Baloch, deputy chief of the country’s navy for coordination, as saying that economic security has become the “most serious” concern of governments in the region.
“Having direct access to open waters for littoral states is considered a great opportunity for progress, the correct exploitation of which will lead to an increase in national wealth and prosperity, and this will be achieved in the shadow of stable and all-around security,” said Baloch.
“There is a direct relationship between the gross national product (GNP) of countries and security, so countries are trying to increase their gross national product by taking the necessary measures and decisions, which is a requirement of this economic activity in trade and movement of goods,” he added.
Significantly, Iran will be opening up international maritime security cooperation centres in Konarak, Sistan, and Baluchestan province, southeastern Iran, with the presence of participating members to strengthen and stabilize security in the seas.
India has always maintained deep cultural and economic ties with the region and remains an important stakeholder in the security architecture and development initiatives in the IOR.
New Delhi has also called for exploiting the full potential of Chabahar port – being developed by India in Iran – for trade between the countries of the region.
It also continues to highlight the important role that the Shahid Beheshti Terminal at Chabahar Port plays as a commercial transit hub for the landlocked countries in Central Asia.