Hanoi, Oct 12 (ANI): Defence Minister AK Antony today called for adoption of 'cooperative approaches' for ensuring the security of sea-lanes in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Addressing the first ever ASEAN Plus Eight Defence Ministers' Meeting in Hanoi today, Antony said India is participating in two projects together with the Malacca countries, within the framework of IMO, to improve the safety of navigation in this region.
The first ADMM-Plus drew officials from 10 ASEAN members-Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam-and their eight dialogue partners-Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
He said the Indian Navy is conducting anti-piracy patrolling and escort operations in the Gulf of Aden for over two years now, and added that piracy remains a serious challenge for the world community, expressing India's commitment to work together with other countries to address piracy.
"The security of sea lanes of communication is vital in today's world. It is in the common interest of nations to keep sea-lanes open, secure and free for navigation, trade and energy supplies. Piracy remains a serious challenge for the world community, as we have witnessed in the Gulf of Aden and adjoining areas," Antony said.
"The Indian Navy is actively engaged in providing anti-piracy patrolling and escort operations in the Gulf of Aden for over two years now. India is committed to working together with other countries in the efforts to address piracy," he said.
The security of sea-lanes is important for the Asia-Pacific region, which is now one of the most important drivers of global economic growth.
The ADMM Plus forum has for the first time brought together the defence establishments of all the key nations in the region with the objective of addressing non-traditional security challenges.
Antony also welcomed the Hanoi Joint Declaration, saying it provides a viable framework for multilateral defence and security dialogue and cooperation in the region. (ANI)