NEW DELHI: India on Friday conveyed to Washington its position on the US Navy Ship John Paul Jones that carried out a freedom of navigation operation in the country’s exclusive economic zone off the coast of Lakshadweep islands without its consent, reported Indian TV channel Times Now.
The Government of India’s stated position on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is that the Convention does not authorize other states to carry out in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the continental shelf, military exercises or maneuvers, in particular those involving the use of weapons or explosives, without the consent of the coastal state,” said the Indian Ministry of External Affairs on Friday.
The Indian foreign ministry said that that the USS John Paul Jones was continuously monitored while it was transiting from the Persian Gulf towards the Malacca Straits.
We have conveyed our concerns regarding this passage through our EEZ to the Government of the USA through diplomatic channels, read the statement.
The statement was issued after the US Navy shared that the USS John Paul carried out a freedom of navigation operation inside India’s exclusive economic zone off the Lakshadweep Islands. It had said that the operation was done on April 7 without India’s knowledge about it.
On April 7, 2021 (local time), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, inside India’s exclusive economic zone, without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law, said the US Navy.
The statement acknowledged that New Delhi’s has set prior consent as a requirement for military exercises in its exclusive economic zone but explained that that the demand was inconsistent with international law.
This freedom of navigation operation upheld rights, freedom, and lawful uses of sea recognized in international law by challenging India’s excessive maritime claims, said the statement.
The US Navy shared that it operates in the Indo-Pacific region regularly. It explained that all operations comply with the international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.
We conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), as we have done in the past and will continue to in the future. FONOPs are not about one country, nor are they about making political statements, said the US Navy.