India and France to begin patrolling mission in Indian Ocean Region
India and France are to launch joint naval patrolling mission after the Varuna Naval Exercise that was held in May, 2019. The joint mission is to be executed in the Indian Ocean Region to protect the strategic interests of the countries and to check large scale illegal fishing.
The Joint Patrol mission is to start in 2020. The navies will operate joint patrols with Indian Navy deploying P8I maritime surveillance and the French Navy operating from Reunion Islands. The Reunion Islands is an island of France in the Indian Ocean. It was discovered in 16th century by the Portuguese. France has bases in Reunion Islands, Djibouti and Mayottee to balance China.
The joint mission is important as China is expanding its naval influence in the region. China has increased its presence in the region through its strategic bases like Gwadar in Pakistan, Hamabantota in Sri Lanka and a key military facility in Djibouti, Horn of Africa.
When two tankers were attacked in Strait of Hormuz in June 2019, both India and France decided to deploy one of their frigates in the area individually. Later, Indo-French pact was signed in which the countries agreed to share information between them in order to strengthen the security in the region.
Category: Defence Current Affairs