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US joins Indian Ocean nations as dialogue partner

Gurgaon(IANS): Against the backdrop of the growing strategic importance of the Indian Ocean and China’s increasing assertiveness in the maritime domain, the US Friday joined the IOR-ARC, the 19-member regional grouping, as its sixth dialogue partner.

Wikipedia image The Union of Comoros, an archipelago of four islands and several islets located in the western Indian Ocean, also joined the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) as its 20th member.

The meeting of council of ministers of the 19-member regional grouping, which brings together countries on the rim of the Indian Ocean, unanimously approved the US’ inclusion as a dialogue partner. Currently, Japan, Egypt, France and Britain are dialogue partners in the IOR-ARC.

The US’s entry is set to provide greater strategic heft to the Indian Ocean regional organisation and is widely seen as an attempt to counter-balance the Chinese maritime assertiveness in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region.

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