Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Vice President's Secretariat
08-March-2017 12:04 IST
Outcomes of First IORA summit satisfying: Vice President

Addresses Media onboard

Onboard Air India One Special Aircraft

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the outcomes of the First Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders' Summit were satisfying. He was addressing the Media onboard Air India One Special Aircraft while returning back from Jakarta, Indonesia after participating in the Summit, on March 07, 2017.

Responding to a question on Association's view on terrorism, the Vice President said that the Summit adopted the Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism which is a synthesis of the views the region has on the matter. He further said that there is no divergence that violence in any form is an undesirable thing for civilized life and people are beginning to realize that violence has to be resisted. The view that anybody can get away by promoting terrorism is getting increasingly sidelined, he added.

Responding to a question on the alleged shooting of an Indian fisherman by the Sri Lankan Navy, the Vice President said that he had taken up the matter with the President of Sri Lanka when he met him on the side-lines of the Summit. He further informed that the Sri Lankan President had told him that he had spoken to the Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy who had told him that no such incident had occurred form the Sri Lankan side. The Sri Lankan President has ordered a full and complete enquiry into the matter, he added.

Responding to a question on the existence of the IORA, the Vice President said that a renewed focus on the Indian Ocean Rim had commenced at the Bengaluru meeting in 2011 and Indonesia was taking the initiative forward along the core areas that were identified earlier. There is a new thrust to the Association's activity now and it is an identified body with 21 participating countries, he added.

On the Indian proposal for setting up an IORA Centre of Excellence (ICE), the Vice President said that all member States are doing extensive work on matters related to maritime issues and interests. He further said that, the first exercise would be to pool the knowledge. India has the expertise and willingness to lead this effort, which will be an online setup and anybody can access it and give input to it, he added.

Responding to a question on increasing exports to Indonesia, the Vice President said that this issue was also discussed with the Indonesian President and there is renewed interest in expanding our trade ties. There has been considerable progress in two areas, namely acquisition of defence equipment and in the pharmaceuticals sector, he added.