According to ‘Hindu’ website, India is seeking to deploy its warships in Madagascar and Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf and is pursuing consultations and talks with France.
After joining the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) as Observer in March, India is looking to post Navy Liaison Officers at the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Center (RMIFC) in Madagascar and also at the European maritime surveillance initiative in the Strait of Hormuz for improved Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
“We are working closely with France who is a pre-eminent member of IOC to post a Naval LO at the RMIFC in Madagascar. We are also working on posting a Naval LO at the European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH) in Abu Dhabi,” a defense source told The Hindu.
The RMFIC functions under the aegis of the IOC of which India became an Observer in March 2020 along with Japan and the United Nations. The IOC is a regional forum in the southwest Indian Ocean, comprising five nations — Comoros, France (Reunion), Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles. China and the European Union (EU) have been Observers in the IOC since 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The Navy LO is expected to be posted at EMASOH by July and at the RMIFC by September or October, the source said.
Europe Maritime Coalition is different from a coalition that Washington launched it in the Persian Gulf in cooperation with six countries but according to French Defense Minister Florence Parly, there is a relationship and coordination between the two coalitions.
Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark are of members of Europe’s maritime coalition. EU’s Maritime Coalition first started its work last year with about 10 members at France’s Military Base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.