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    Indian navy person stands guard on board war ship Godavari during its decommissioning at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, India, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

    Indian Ocean Pivotal for Emerging ‘Age of Asia’ – Indian Foreign Minister

    © AP Photo / Rafiq Maqbool
    Asia & Pacific
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    India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, has called for greater regional maritime cooperation to foster peace and stability in the Indian Ocean, which, being the world’s busiest waterway, has the potential to turn around Asia’s fortune.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Speaking at the third Indian Ocean Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Monday that the Indian Ocean was at the center of the emerging 'Age of Asia' and emphasized the need for maritime cooperation with countries within the region for the optimal utilization of natural resources.

    READ MORE: India, China Resume Maritime Dialogue Amid Perceived Tussle in Indian Ocean

    "This region is host to the world's busiest waterways and three-quarters of that traffic is headed for destinations beyond our region … nurturing a climate of peace and stability in this region is, therefore, an important priority for our foreign policy," Swaraj added.

    The Indian foreign minister was of the opinion that economic prosperity and maritime security go hand in hand.

    "Our vision for the region is one of cooperation and collective action. … We cannot tap the bounty of the Indian Ocean without ensuring maritime peace and stability. Economic prosperity and maritime security go hand-in-hand," the Indian foreign minister said while addressing the Indian Ocean Conference in Vietnam.

    READ MORE: India, Seychelles Revive Talks on Naval Base at Assumption Island

    The Indian Ocean, which borders Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, is home to major sea lanes and choke points that are crucial to global trade. Nearly 40 percent of the world's offshore petroleum is produced in the Indian Ocean, which also has rich mineral deposits and fisheries.

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    Tags:
    economic benefits, maritime doctrine, regional cooperation, natural resources, Indian Foreign Ministry, Sushma Swaraj, India, Indian Ocean, Vietnam
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