India’s engagement with IOR countries
After 55 days of deployment to the Southern Indian Ocean Region as part of `Mission Sagar’ Indian Naval Ship Kesari comes back home to Kochi. The ship deployed on a special ‘COVID Relief Mission’ carrying 580 tons of food aid and essential medical stores including Ayurvedic medicines to local authorities made port calls at Male (Maldives), Port Louis (Mauritius), Antsiranana (Madagascar), Moroni (Comoros Islands) and Port Victoria (Seychelles).
- Launched on 10 May, `Mission Sagar’ was India’s initiative to deliver Covid-19 related assistance to the countries in the Indian Ocean Littoral states.
- The INS Kesari returned to India on June 28, after travelling over 7,500 nautical miles over almost two months. Onboard the naval ship there was a 14 member Naval Medical Assistance Team deputed to Mauritius and Comoros for 20 days each.
- This team assisted local governments in the Indian Ocean Region in the formulation of long term strategy to counter COVID 19 through mutual sharing of experience.
- The first stop in this journey was the Maldives two medical assistance teams, food items, as well as the consignments of COVID-related medicines, were dropped off before it sailed towards Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros and Seychelles.
- In Maldives the consignment was formally handed over by the Indian High Commissioner in an online ceremony which was attended by Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and Defence Minister Mariya Ahmed Didi. Later, President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih used Social Media to express his gratitude for India’s help.
- The ship was received by the Minister for Health of Mauritius, Dr Kailesh Jagutpal and the consignments were handed over to him by our High Commissioner.
- Reflecting India’s commitment to work together with its maritime neighbours and partners in the IOR, the shipment of essential medicines and Medical Assistance Team as part of ‘Mission Sagar’ has reaffirmed the country's role as a preferred security partner in the IOR.
- According to the Indian Navy, “INS Kesari’s prolonged deployment in rough seas and difficult times towards delivery of essential medical aid has been appreciated by heads of states or senior dignitaries of other countries who have expressed their appreciation for the timely aid.
- In fact, the Prime Minister of Mauritius had personally thanked Indian Prime Minister during a telephone conversation last month for the deployment of INS Kesari.
What is Mission SAGAR?
- It is a major milestone in India’s engagement with the countries in the Indian Ocean Region, and is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘SAGAR- Security and Growth for All in the Region’.