India conveyed its concerns over US Navy ship carrying out freedom of navigation operation in Indian EEZ
India on Friday said that it has conveyed its concerns to the United States over a US Navy ship carrying out a freedom of navigation operation in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). India told the US that conducting military exercises is a total violation of the UN convention in India’s waters without consent. In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said US Navy ship John Paul Jones was continuously monitored transiting from the Persian Gulf towards the Malacca Straits.
India’s displeasure came after the US Navy, in an unusual move, announced that one of its ships conducted patrols in the Indian EEZ this week, without seeking consent from India. Now it comes to notice that US Navy did not seek consent to navy exercise in September 2019 and July 2020 also.
“The USS John Paul Jones was continuously monitored transiting from the Persian Gulf towards the Malacca Straits. We have conveyed our concerns regarding this passage through our EEZ to the Government of USA through diplomatic channels,” the MEA said. The Ministry said India’s stated position has been that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea does not authorize other countries to carry out military exercises or maneuvers in an EEZ and on the continental shelf without the consent of the coastal nation.
The operation was conducted by the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones on April 7, a statement issued by the Commander of the US seventh fleet said.
“India’s stated position on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is that the convention does not authorize other States to carry out in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the continental shelf, military exercises or maneuvers, in particular those involving the use of weapons or explosives, without the consent of the coastal State,” the MEA said.
The US Navy, in a statement, announced that it asserted navigational rights and freedoms inside India’s EEZ without seeking the country’s prior consent. “This freedom of navigation operation upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging India’s excessive maritime claims,” the US 7th fleet said in a statement on April 7. The operation was conducted by the guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones on April 7, a statement issued by the Commander of the US seventh fleet said.
The US Navy’s naval exercise near Lakshadweep coast without India’s consent and later issuing a statement on that exercise has created a lot of criticism in India. According to senior Indian officials the UN convention as well as Indian norms, US Navy has clearly violated the basic norms. It is not the first time that the US Navy has conducted such an operation in India’s Exclusive Economic Zone. The US Department of Defence publishes an annual Freedom of Navigation Report “identifying the excessive maritime claims that US forces operationally challenged.”
The last time the US Navy conducted such an operation was the fiscal year 2019, according to the Department of Defence. In an unclassified report to the US Congress in July 2020, the US Navy said it conducted an operation in the Indian Ocean region during the period of October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019, to preserve the rights, freedoms, and uses of the sea and airspace guaranteed to all nations by international law.
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