Navy chief in Bangladesh for Indian Ocean Naval Symposium

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Indian Navy chief, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, on Sunday reached Bangladesh to attend the 5th edition of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), an official statement said.

During his visit which will be till January 14, Admiral Dhowan will also meet political and military figures to strengthen bilateral relations.

In the symposium, the Indian Navy would be presenting a guideline document on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR).

“The aim of the document is to provide guidelines for developing a speedy, responsive, coordinated and effective HADR for IONS members, as and when required,” the statement said.

IONS was launched in February 2008 to captilise upon regional strengths of Indian Ocean Region littorals and was the 21st century’s first significant international maritime-security initiative.

Alltogether 35 littoral states in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) have been grouped into four sub-regions – South Asian, West Asian, East African and South East Asian including Australia.

IONS seeks to provide a regional forum through which the chiefs of navies or equivalent maritime agency of all the littoral states periodically meet to constructively engage each other through the creation and promotion of regionally relevant mechanisms, events, and activities.

The chairmanship of the symposium is rotated sequentially through each of the four sub-regions.

The chair was held by India from 2008 to 2010, UAE from 2010 to 2012 and South Africa from 2012 to 2014. The current chair is Australia and Bangladesh would be taking over the chair for the term 2016 -2018.

The theme of the seminar this year is “Fostering Partnership in IOR: Charting course for Maritime Cooperative Engagement”.

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