India and United States launched their first Maritime Security Dialogue in New Delhi for deepening the evolving partnership in the maritime domain between both countries.
The first round of discussions under the recently-constituted dialogue was held between officials of India’s Defence and External Affairs Ministries and their US counterparts.
Maritime Security Dialogue
Both sides discussed various issues including naval cooperation, Asia-Pacific maritime challenges and multilateral engagement.
They agreed to include the conclusion of a white shipping technical arrangement to improve data sharing on commercial shipping traffic.
Both sides also undertook Navy-to-Navy discussion on submarine safety and anti-submarine warfare was also undertaken.
The Maritime Security Dialogue was one of the several new initiatives agreed between Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his US counterpart Ashton Carter during the latter’s visit to India in April 2016.
The start of the dialogue was one of the agreements reached between the two countries during the visit to India in April by US defence secretary Ashton Carter, and it comes against the backdrop of increased Indian naval engagement in the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia, the US “pivot” or “rebalance” towards Asia and America looking at India to step up its role in the region.
The two countries have on at least two occasions put out a joint strategic vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, calling for the freedom of navigation and unimpeded movement of ships through the global commons or high seas, in an oblique reference to China putting embargos on the movement of ships and airplanes through the disputed waters of the South China Sea.