India conveys concern to US over passage of US Naval ship through EEZ without prior consent
In an unusual move, the US Navy carried out an operation inside India’s Exclusive Economic Zone without its prior consent
India on Friday conveyed its concern through diplomatic channels to the Government of USA on the passage of USS John Paul Jones through the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Without “prior consent” from India, the US Navy carried out a freedom of navigation operation inside India’s Exclusive Economic Zone off the Lakshadweep islands on April 7.
“The USS John Paul Jones was continuously monitored transiting from the Persian Gulf towards the Malacca Straits. We have conveyed our concerns regarding this passage through our EEZ to the Government of USA through diplomatic channels,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“The Government of India’s stated position on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is that the Convention does not authorise other States to carry out in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the continental shelf, military exercises or manoeuvres, in particular those involving the use of weapons or explosives, without the consent of the coastal state,” the MEA said in its statement.
This is seen as a highly unusual move and could cast a shadow over India-US bilateral defence relations in the backdrop of the statement issued by the US Navy over the development.
“India requires prior consent for military exercises in its exclusive economic zone, a claim inconsistent with international law. This freedom of navigation operation upheld rights, freedom and lawful uses of sea recognized in international law by challenging India’s excessive maritime claims,” a statement issued by the Commanders of the US seventh fleet said.
It further said, “This freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognised in international law by challenging India's excessive maritime claims.”