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India monitoring ‘unfolding situation’ in Red Sea, naval assets patrolling area: MEA

IndiaIndia monitoring 'unfolding situation' in Red Sea, naval assets patrolling area: MEA

In response to concerns over suspected drone strikes on merchant vessels in the Red Sea, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India has announced that it is closely monitoring the situation.

In response to concerns over suspected drone strikes on merchant vessels in the Red Sea, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in India has announced that it is closely monitoring the situation. The newly-appointed MEA spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, emphasized India’s commitment to the freedom of navigation and the unimpeded movement of commercial shipping in the strategically significant region.

During his maiden weekly MEA briefing, Jaiswal confirmed that India’s naval assets are actively patrolling the Red Sea to ensure the safety of India-flagged ships. He acknowledged the evolving nature of the situation and highlighted the importance of freedom of navigation, stating, “We attach very high importance to freedom of navigation, free movement of commercial shipping.”

The MEA spokesperson clarified that India is not currently part of any multilateral initiative or project in the Red Sea region. However, he emphasized that India is closely monitoring the unfolding situation, indicating a proactive stance in safeguarding its interests in the region.

“We are looking at the situation. It’s an evolving situation, and we are looking at all aspects of it. As you know, we have Indian Navy ships patrolling the area. They’re also keeping a watch on Indian ships there,” Jaiswal added.

The statement from the MEA underscores India’s commitment to ensuring the security of maritime routes in the Red Sea, a region that has garnered increased international attention. Tensions have escalated with Houthi rebels conducting attacks on shipping vessels as a form of protest against Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip.

Houthis have targeted ships in the Red Sea “with links to Israel,” prompting international concern. In response, the United States announced the creation of an international coalition named Operation ‘Prosperity Guardian’ to counter Houthi attacks on international maritime trade in the Red Sea. The coalition involves navies from Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, Spain, the UK, and the US, falling under the Combined Maritime Forces, a multinational alliance tasked with defending global shipping lanes.

As the situation continues to develop, India remains vigilant, actively participating in naval patrols to ensure the safety and security of its interests in the Red Sea.

(inputs from ANI)

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