Stressing on security co-operation at the East Asia Summit (EAS), India on Friday sought intelligence sharing to combat sea piracy, terrorism, and sea-based human smuggling.
"Security cooperation is important for EAS countries.
India and other EAS countries, individually and collectively, could make arrangements on intelligence sharing to combat piracy at sea, terrorism, and sea-based human smuggling as well as narcotics trafficking", Anurag Bhushan, joint secretary (ASEAN) at the ministry of external affairs said at the 3rd EAS conference on maritime security and co-operation held here.
EAS is a unique leaders led forum of 18 countries comprising of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam , Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Russia formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity.
This year's conference was attended by all the countries barring Brunei and New Zealand.
Bhushan said, among areas in maritime cooperation that India hopes to explore with EAS is disaster risk reduction and management, joint patrols and exercises, and other maritime capacity-building activities.
It may be noted that maritime security and cooperation had received a special mention in the Delhi Declaration of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, which was held on 25 January 2018 at New Delhi to mark the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations.
Indian Prime Minister has endorsed Blue Economy as a new pillar of economic activity in the coastal areas and linked hinterlands through sustainable tapping of oceanic resources and announced his vision for the seas through "Security And Growth for All in the Region" (SAGAR), he said in his address on the inaugural day of the two day summit.
Speaking at the inauguration, Union Minister for Oil and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said East Asian countries should work together to deal with the insecurities associated with maritime terrorism and crimes including trafficking of humans and drugs.
"The regional countries should work together to deal with the insecurities associated with maritime terrorism, maritime crimes, including trafficking of humans and drugs; the smuggling of small arms, other light weapons and weapons of mass destruction", he stressed.
He pointed out that cooperation in the energy sector will help EAS countries to strengthen national energy security, reduce the costs of energy supplies, and minimize adverse impacts from energy price volatility.
Cooperation in energy sector may also cover energy pipelines, trade in energy products and technology transfer and joint Research and Development. India could be a major source of training and capacity building in energy services for EAS countries, added Pradhan who also holds the portfolio of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.