The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) has officially commenced in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan Navy is hosting and presiding over the 2 day event.
Participants include: Australia, Bangladesh, France, India, Iran, Thailand, Oman, Singapore and Pakistan. During this meeting the member countries will discuss maritime challenges, piracy and other matters of mutual cooperation.
Deputy Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Muhammad Fayyaz Jalani was the chief guest of the inaugural secession. In his address he highlighted the importance of maritime cooperation and maintaining peace in the region. He said that with regional peace the neighbouring countries can benefit from the ocean’s natural resources.
“Indian Ocean is rich in energy and other minerals but it is facing the threat of security and environment. It is need of the time for member countries to work for joint maritime security to ensure the peace and stability in the region.” said Fayyaz Jalani.
He highlighted Pakistan Navy’s role in maintaining peace and stability in the Indian Ocean. He said,
Pakistan Navy is fully aware regarding the international and regional maritime challenges. Pakistan Navy is engage in maritime security and anti piracy operations.
IONS is a forum to increase maritime cooperation among the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region. The forum helps to preserve peaceful relations between nations, and thus is critical to building an effective maritime security architecture in the Indian Ocean Region and is also fundamental to our collective prosperity.
IONS includes 23 nations that permanently hold territory that abuts or lies within the Indian Ocean, and 7 observer nations:
South Asian, West Asian, East African, South East Asian and Australian Littorals are the major groups of the IONS. Following are the list of Littorals with countries.
- South Asian Littorals: Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Seychelles, Sri Lanka and United Kingdom (British Indian Ocean Territory)
- West Asian Littorals: Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
- East African Littorals: France (Reunion), Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.
- South East Asian and Australian Littorals: Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
Including the permanent members there are seven countries with observer status including China, Germany, Japan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Russia and Spain.