Vice President Hamid Ansari arrived in the Indonesian capital Monday embarking upon his two-day visit to the country. The Vice President will attend the summit of the 21-nation Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), where he is expected to lay emphasis on connectivity, open maritime trade and rights of navigation.
He is also expected to pitch for cooperation among the think tanks of the member countries to evolve common strategies to meet the conventional and non-conventional threats.
The theme of the Summit is ‘Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable and Prosperous Indian Ocean’.
Interacting with a group of journalists accompanying him on his two-day visit, VP Ansari said safety and security of the Indian Ocean maritime region, trade and investment, management of fisheries, tourism, disaster management and science and technology are some of the subjects which have been under consideration.
He said the blue economy has also emerged as a focus area on which India has taken a lot of initiatives.
“We expect that concrete ideas will emerge (from the Summit)…We hope there will be some outcomes,” said the Vice President.
Though the Indian Ocean is being shared by 36 nations, 21 countries have joined the Association so far.
“The most important thing is that for the (Indian Ocean) Rim countries to be able to cooperate with each other, they need safety and security. As you know, we have had in the western part of the Indian Ocean serious problems of piracy and terrorism,” he said in a briefing on board his special aircraft.
Later in his visit, a declaration on countering violent extremism is expected to be adopted along with the IORA Concord and an action plan.
The Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism is an agreement of the IORA member states about the importance of countering terrorism.
The association comprises India, Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Oman, Seychelles, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
It also has seven Dialogue Partners — the US, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Japan and the UK.
(With inputs from PTI)