india-joins-indian-ocean-commission-as-observer-summary

Context: India has been approved as an observer state for Indian Ocean Commission.

Indian Ocean Commission

 It is a five nation grouping in the Western Indian Ocean, which includes Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius and French Reunion.  

Significance

  1. The decision to join the IOC marks a part of the government’s push for greater salience in the whole Indian Ocean Region (IOR), including what is called the Western or African Indian Ocean.
  2.  The IOC is also significant for its geographical location, as the islands sit around a “key choke point” in the Indian Ocean — the Mozambique Channel
    1. This channel is being watched more closely as the U.S.­Iran tensions threaten the Strait of Hormuz
  3. With the decision, India will join China, which was made an observer in 2016,
  4. Given China’s growing presence in the region, India hopes to increase its naval presence and gain support for its maritime projects across the Indo Pacific, beginning at East African shores.  
  5. It can also be seen as deepening strategic partnership with France as well as its expanding ties with the Vanilla Islands.

Imae Source: IOTC