‘Vision For The Indian Ocean Region Is To Preserve Organic Unity While Advancing Cooperation’: Sushma Swaraj At India Ocean Conference

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, addressing the 2nd Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) in Colombo yesterday said the vision for the Indian Ocean region was to ‘preserve organic unity’ while ‘advancing cooperation’ between neighbouring countries.

“We will use our capabilities for the collective wellbeing, and the mutual benefit of our maritime neighbours and island states in building their capabilities,” the Indian External Affairs Minister said.

She said India considered it ‘an imperative’ that those who live in this region bear the primary responsibility for the peace, stability and prosperity of the Indian Ocean.

Swaraj said this vision was evident with the concept SAGAR - ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ – put forth by Indian Prime Minister Modi in March 2015.

SAGAR includes enhancing capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories and interests, deepening economic and security cooperation in the littoral and promoting collective action to deal with natural disasters and maritime threats, among other proposals.

Swaraj said she looked forward to the rest of the conference, where the “myriad synergies that bring this region together and connect it to the world” would be discussed towards creating a “meaningful cooperative strategy for ensuring peace, progress and prosperity in this region”.

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