New Delhi, Oct 26
India and EU ships conducted joint activities in the Gulf of Guinea, in an effort to reinforce naval maritime security cooperation in support of the region.
On 24 Oct 23, the European Union (EU) and India conducted their first joint naval exercise in the Gulf of Guinea. The exercise followed the third meeting of the EU-India Maritime Security Dialogue on 5 Oct 23 in Brussels.
During the exercise, Indian Navy’s INS Sumedha, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, was joined by three EU Member States’ ships in the Gulf of Guinea: Italian Navy Ship ITS Foscari, French Navy Ship FS Ventôse, and Spanish Navy Ship Tornado. The four ships practiced a series of tactical manoeuvers in international waters off the coast of Ghana, including a boarding exercise, a flying exercise using the helicopters embarked on French Ship Ventôse and Indian Naval Ship Sumedha, and transfer of personnel between ships.
This exercise was followed by a knowledge sharing session in Accra, Ghana which built on the joint experience at sea to improve operational know-how. The session also helped deepen ties between Ghanaian officials and representatives of the Indian, EU and EU Member States missions to Ghana.
These activities underlined the shared commitment of India and the EU to supporting coastal States and the Yaoundé Architecture in ensuring maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. They reflected the breadth and dynamism of EU-India cooperation on maritime security, and signalled the common determination to uphold the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).