India to extend maritime security cover as far as Africa

The Maritime Security Review has learned from sources within the US Department of State that talks have recently been held to discuss how India could contribute to Africa’s maritime security.

Although relatively unknown, India’s extensive economic, political and military interests in Africa are increasing rapidly. Historical Indo-African ties,  that trace their roots to pre-colonial trade and stretch to financial and diplomatic support for African liberation movements, have permitted the development and expansion of an important network of connections.

India has already made significant investments in African security, in particular through supporting and participating in United Nations peacekeeping operations and in training future African military leaders.

Within the context of the broader US-India strategic partnership, any further support for African security would be welcomed. According to sources the recent talks covered a number of areas including that of maritime security. In particular the United States would be keen to see India extend its maritime security cover as far as the eastern seaboard of Africa.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to New Delhi in April to partecipate in the Indian meeting of this year’s US-India Strategic Dialogue. The ground work regarding the issues that the two delegations will address was agreed upon last February; it may well be that African security figures amongst the strategic international challenges that will be discussed.

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Mark Lowe, Friday 11 March 2011

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