Antony calls upon Indian Navy to remain alert for maritime security challenges

October 27th, 2010 - 11:56 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Oct.27 (ANI): Defence Minister A.K Antony on Wednesday asked the Indian Navy to remain on alert to handle the maritime security challenges following the existence of the complex maritime security environment in the Indian ocean region. He also called for an increased Navy-to-Navy contact with the Indian Ocean countries to streamline inter-operability issues. Addressing Naval Commanders Conference in New Delhi today, he cautioned that the complex maritime security environment in the region requires the Navy to maintain a state of perpetual readiness.Describing the piracy as “a major area of concern in the Indian Ocean Region,” Antony said, the Indian Navy’s presence in the piracy-affected areas reflects its commitment and resolve to contribute the might in dealing with such threats. He said New Delhi is committed to the continued deployment of ships and aircraft for enhanced surveillance off the coast of Maldives and Seychelles to ensure maritime security from piracy. The Minister also stressed at the need to engage like-minded African states in the Western Indian Ocean Region, such as Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya, to enhance India’s strengths and contribute to peace and stability, not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but also in the entire Indian Ocean Region.He observed, there is a need to sustain the momentum of cooperation with Sri Lanka to ensure peaceful fishing on either side of the International Maritime Boundary Line and to prevent a possible resurgence of the LTTE.While asserting the need for modernisation, the Defence Minister, assured the Naval Commanders that wherever required, import options would be considered to meet operational requirements. Meanwhile, referring to the creation of operational infrastructure in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep and Minicoy Islands, the Defence Minister said it would be accorded due priority.He said the Government has also accorded approval for forward naval bases at Tuticorin and Paradip. In his address , the Naval Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, commended the Naval Commands for integrating coastal populace into the coastal security architecture through widespread campaigns. (ANI)

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