As a founding member of IORA, India has been promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the region

Speaking at the 20th meeting of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Council of Ministers (COM) on Thursday, MoS for External Affairs V Muraleedharan highlighted the role of IORA for regional cooperation in the Indian Ocean region and the wider Indo-Pacific.

He also noted the contributions made by India as a coordinating country in two priority areas of IORA namely, Disaster Risk Management and Academic, Science and Technology.

Keeping in view the present situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, MoS Muraleedharan called for greater cooperation in the field of business, trade, investment, traditional medicine, and wellness tourism among the IORA members.

He noted the deployment of an Information Technology Expert by India at the IORA secretariat and further announced India’s initiatives in the form of implementation of the e-Office system and setting up of Mahatma Gandhi library at the IORA Secretariat.

The meeting was virtually hosted by the United Arab Emirates and saw the participation of all 22 member states and 10 dialogue partners. MoS Muraleedharan led the Indian side in the meeting.

“The meeting deliberated upon various regional and global issues of common interest by the IORA member states. The COM adopted the Emirates Communique and the IORA’s Solidarity and Cooperation Statement in response to Covid-19,” said an official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Taking to Twitter, the MoS congratulated France on becoming the 23rd member of the IORA and Sri Lanka on the assumption of Vice-Chairmanship.

"Congratulated Sri Lanka on the assumption of Vice-Chairmanship and France for becoming the 23rd member. Highlighted the important role of IORA for regional cooperation in the IOR and wider Indo-Pacific," Muraleedharan tweeted.

India as a founding member of IORA has been committed to its growth since its inception in 1997. During India’s Chairmanship in IORA in 2011, IORA adopted its six priority areas which are guiding principles of all its activities.