New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Navy has made an offer to share real-time commercial data and intelligence inputs with 10 countries of the Indian Ocean littorals during the first ever regional maritime conclave held in Goa. The offer has been made to Bangladesh, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
“All the participants have appreciated the proposal and taken it positively. But, it will take some time in implementation as they have to review it first. This should not be considered as an alliance against any particular country but to tackle the non-traditional threat,” a senior naval officer told Sputnik.
The Indian Navy has proposed the initiative in the backdrop of the increased presence of Chinese naval fleet including submarines in the Indian Ocean Region. India’s Defense Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, on the first day of the conclave, had vociferously raised the concern. “This sort of militarization increases the complexities for the countries of this region," Defense Minister Sitharaman said.
Presently, India has 'exchange for white shipping' agreement with countries like Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Vietnam, Singapore, Israel, and France. However, no multilateral agreement on the subject has been signed till date.