India will work with all willing nations for peace in the region, Ajay Kumar said

India, standing for a rules-bound world, will continue to oppose attempts of aggression and to deter it on land, sea and air, Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said.

“Maritime domain is so vast and challenges are so diverse that going alone is not an option for practically any country. We welcome all nations which respect rules and shun aggression, to collaborate in our region,” he said on Monday in his address at the third edition of three-day (November 7 to 9) Goa Maritime Conclave-2021.

He also said that India continues to reach out to the nations in the Indian Ocean Region bilaterally and under the framework of IONS, IORA, BIMSTEC, Colombo Security Conclave and other structures for maritime security in the region.

The Defence Secretary highlighted the Indian initiative of setting up the Information Fusion Centre for Indian Ocean Region (IFC-IOR) towards fostering better understanding of the maritime domain and sought further support and participation from maritime countries of the IOR.

The conclave is being participated by Chiefs of Navies and Heads of Maritime Forces from 12 IOR countries comprising Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Stating that Maritime Security and Economic prosperity were interrelated and interdependent from times immemorial, the Indian Defence Secretary lauded the Indian Navy for their contribution in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that the Indian Navy only remained on high vigilance duty safeguarding marine borders but went an extra mile to provide assistance to a large number of IOR littoral nations.

Commending the Indian Navy for saving precious lives at sea during cyclones and other natural calamities, he said, Armed Forces, particularly the Navy in the context of seas, has a cardinal role in not only ensuring safe and peaceful sea lanes, but also responding to humanitarian crises in man-made or natural disaster situations.

“Indian Navy has and will continue to work for HADR in the region as a first responder and net security provider,” he said.