India conveys concern to US over warship carrying out navigation ops off Lakshadweep


India on Friday said it has conveyed concerns to the United States over a US Navy ship carrying out a freedom of navigation operation in the Indian exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

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 reaction 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.

“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.

It said India’s stated position has been that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea does not authorise other countries to carry out military exercises or manoeuvres in an EEZ and on the continental shelf without the consent of the coastal nation.

“India’s stated position on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is that the convention does not authorise other States to carry out in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the continental shelf, military exercises or manoeuvres, 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 recognised in international law by challenging India’s excessive maritime claims,” the US 7th fleet said in a statement on April 7.



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