India Trying to Build Good Relations with Neighbours, Says Parrikar
By Express News Service | Published: 23rd March 2015 06:02 AM |
BHUBANESWAR:Making a strong pitch for creation of a common platform for the Indian Ocean Rim countries, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said India was trying to build good relations with it neighbours.
Stating that the country’s strength lies in non-violence, Parrikar said a strong person could dictate peace.
“I believe in good relationship with my neighbours and I am already exchanging a lot of joint exercises, discussions and training with neighbouring countries,” Parrikar told reporters after addressing the concluding session of the three-day international conference on ‘India & the Indian Ocean: Renewing the Maritime Trade & Civilisational Linkages’ here.
Calling for greater cooperation between neighbouring countries, Parrikar said: “We are facing many traditional and non-traditional maritime threats. While traditional threats have been minimised, non-traditional threats like Somali pirates have shifted their locations to Indian ocean,” he said.
Somali pirates, after being neutralised by Navies of several countries, are now shifting their base towards India. But the country is watchful about dealing with such threats, the Union Defence Minister said.
Parrikar emphasised on the creation of a group of IOR countries to deal with traditional and non-traditional issues.
As India is in a common grid and are tied to other Indian ocean rim countries, it would reach out to neighbouring countries to strengthen their coastal security and make their economy stronger.
Stating that the Indian Ocean region is very important for the country, Parrikar said it accounted for about 57 per cent of the world’s oil reserves and more than 45 per cent of the world’s gas reserves.
Besides, two-third of the oil trade and one-third of the cargo trade of the globe were made through Indian ocean, he added.
Parrikar said the bed of Indian ocean is rich mineral resources which are yet to be exploited. The ocean could be harnessed for non-renewable energy to meet the increasing energy need of the country.