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Countries in Indian Ocean Rim set up istitutionalised mechanism to secure Indian Ocean

NEW DELHI, Feb 15 (APP): Twenty six countries including India in Indian Ocean region on Friday decided to set up institutionalised mechanism for cooperation among their navies to secure the Indian Ocean from transitional crimes including terrorism.
The decision was taken in a conclave of Naval Chiefs of Indian Ocean Rim hosted by India here. India also hosted an Indian Ocean Naval Symposium which was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday.

The mechanism will serve as a platform to have regular dialogue and exchange of information among them for ensuring safety of ships and maritime resources.

According to the decision, cooperative endeavours such as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief will be the immediate core area of thrust.

“It is an initiative to ensure peace, security and economic propriety in the region”, Naval Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta told mediapersons at the end of the conclave.

“Under the initiative, we have decided to join hands to thwart any kind of challenges in the region including threats from terrorists,” media reports quoting Mehta said.

When questioned about terror threats, Mehta said, “we are conscious of the fact that fair amount of breeding of terrorists is taking place in the region. In some areas, terrorism is allowed to escalate. Discussion will take place for initiating measures to counter threats of terrorism in the region.”

Mehta said this initiative was aimed at bringing inter-operability among navies of the region. The Navy chiefs will discuss this with their respective governments after which a final charter and other issues will be taken up. The forum will have rotational chairmanship and rotational secretariat at an interval of two years, he said.