India voiced its concern over the US navy indulging into Indian waters without any prior permission. US Seventh Fleet announced that one of its warships, the USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53), had conducted a Freedom of Navigation operation west of the Lakshadweep Islands, “inside India’s exclusive economic zone, without requesting India’s prior consent, consistent with international law.”
“We have conveyed our concerns regarding this passage through our EEZ to the Government of USA through diplomatic channels.”, said in response to the US Navy’s public announcement, which sparked controversy given the immense ties between the two countries’ armed forces, particularly their navies.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, “the USS John Paul Jones was continuously monitored as it transited from the Persian Gulf to the Malacca Straits.”
The Government of India’s stated position on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is that “the Convention does not authorize other States to conduct military exercises or manoeuvres, particularly those involving the use of weapons or explosives, in the Exclusive Economic Zone and on the continental shelf without the consent of the coastal state,” it said.
“USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, inside India’s officially sanctioned economic zone, without seeking India’s explicit permission,
consistent with international law,” the US Seventh Fleet said in a statement dated April 7, Arabian Sea. India requires prior permission for military exercises or maneuvers in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf, a claim that is illegal under international law. “By challenging India’s excessive maritime claims, this freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law,” it said.
On a daily basis, US forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region. All operations are planned in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the US will fly, sail, and operate wherever international law permits. We continue to conduct routine and regular Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPs), as we have in the past. FONOPs are not limited to a single country.
According to Indian law, “all foreign ships (other than warships including submarines and other underwater vehicles) shall enjoy the right of innocent passage through the territorial waters,” and a passage is innocent “so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order, or security of India.”
The Quadrilateral grouping includes India, the United States, Australia, and Japan. On March 13, Quad leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a “shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific” and a region that is “inclusive, healthy, anchored in democratic values, and free of coercion.”
In response to the Seventh Fleet statement, former Navy Chief Admiral Arun Prakash said on Twitter, “There is irony here.” While India ratified the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1995, the United States has yet to do so. It’s bad enough that the 7th Fleet is conducting FoN missions in Indian EEZs in violation of our domestic laws. But what about publicizing it? Please activate IFF, USN!” — IFF is an abbreviation for Identification,