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“Freedom of Navigation in Indian waters” ; India launches protest on US

India has boarded objections both in New Delhi and in Washington DC by diplomatic ways concerning the way of USS John Paul Jones through India’s EEZ without “prior permission”.A statement circulated by the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday stated, “The USS John Paul Jones was continuously monitored transiting from the Persian Gulf towards the Malacca Straits. We have conveyed our concerns regarding this passage through our EEZ to the Government of USA through diplomatic channels.”

India affirms that according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) “consent” is required before any ship moves through a country’s oceans.”The Government of India’s declared place on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is that the Convention does not entitle other States to take out in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the continental shelf, military operations or procedures, in particular those concerning the use of weapons or explosives, without the permission of the coastal state,” the statement read.

On Friday during a briefing, the Pentagon stated that they were “conducting innocent passage” without “prior permission” since it was “compatible with international law”.”I can tell you is that the USS John Paul Jones, a Navy destroyer, asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Republic of the Maldives by conducting innocent passage through its territorial sea in normal operations within its exclusive economic zone without requesting prior permission,” Pentagon representative John Kirby told reporters.

“That’s consistent with international law. Again, we continue to maintain the right, indeed the responsibility, to fly, sail, and operate following international law,” he continued. Diplomatic affairs specialist Jeff Smith, in a set of tweets, told that this was not the initial time an American vessel has taken out Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in Exclusive Economic Zones or the said area in question.

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“If you review America’s annual freedom of navigation reports, you would see that the US has been conducting a FONOP in India’s EEZ every year as far back as the reports go. It’s routine, even if you’re just finding out about it for the first time,” he tweeted. Continuing, “More specifically, the U.S. has reported a FONOP in India’s EEZ every year 2007-2021 except 2018 and 2020. It also carried FONOPs in India’s EEZ in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000-2003. Moreover, this isn’t new or unusual.”While both sides are in touch through diplomatic ways to dial down temperatures, the official statement by the US concerning the operation was unusual, causing a stir.”

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