Maritime security and deeper naval cooperation for robust South-South Cooperation
With China gradually expanding its presence in global waters, maritime security and naval cooperation have been identified by the IBSA (India, Brazil & South Africa) countries for deeper cooperation among the members. At the maiden meeting of the IBSA National Security Advisors (NSA) called by NSA AK Doval, the member countries decried the state sponsorship of cross border terror, and agreed to ensure security of sea lines of communication and energy and also sustainable exploitation of marine resources, including fishing.
According to officials, New Delhi also proposed pooling of resources and cooperation among the defence industries of IBSA for joint development and production of naval platforms, as well as other military platforms.
According to an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the IBSA NSAs meeting was convened ahead of the summit level meeting next month. This was a preparatory meeting for the Leaders summit under the Chairship of India, for which the theme is “Democracy for Demography and Development”.
Cyber security was another issue that was on the agenda of the NSAs meeting which took place on August 25, 2021 and it was agreed to deepen cooperation within the UN on cyber and ICT issues. India’s offer to organise an Experts Group Meeting on Cyber Security was accepted.
While the dates for the sixth edition of the trilateral IBSAMAR have yet to be finalized, India has invited Brazil and South Africa for the MILAN exercise in 2022.
According to Indian Navy officials, “The cooperation among the navies of the three nations experts, naval cooperation between the three countries exemplifies the strong long term strategic relationship between the three vibrant democracies and strong economies.”
The trilateral exercises among the three navies were first initiated in 2006 and over the years the scope has matured into a more complex drill at sea which involves submarines, aircraft, Special Forces and ships.