Asserted navigational rights off Lakshadweep without India’s permission: US Navy. In a move that could create political tensions, the US Navy has announced that it guarantees the rights and freedoms to travel within India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without seeking Indian consent.
“This freedom of the ship (FONOP) has upheld the rights, freedoms, and legitimacy of maritime law enshrined in international law by challenging the maritime claims in India,” the 7th U.S. vessel said in a statement on April 7.
It said the USS John Paul Jones, an archer targeted in the Arleigh Burke sector, claimed maritime rights and freedom approximately 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands.
The 7th Fleet is the largest of the American military ships sent forward. The US sent 7th Fleet elements to the Bay of Bengal to suppress India during the 1971 war with Pakistan that ended with the liberation of Bangladesh.
The entire EEZ of the coastal country reaches 200 nautical miles (370km) off its coast and the land in question has exclusive rights to all water resources, including oil, natural gas and fish. Any military operation in the EEZ requires India’s approval, said navy officials who are aware of the matter, asking for anonymity.
“If you have to do anything in our EEZ, you have to let us know and get permission,” said navy commander Admiral Singh in 2019 after the expulsion of a Chinese ship that had entered Indian waters near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
There was no official response from the navy or the foreign ministry at the time of submission.
“American troops are serving in the Indo-Pacific region every day. All operations are built in accordance with international law and show that the United States will fly, navigate and operate wherever the law allows, ”the 7th Fleet statement said.
“We are doing regular and regular FONOPs, as we have done before and will continue in the future. FONOPs do not talk about one country, nor do they say political statements, ”he added. The US Navy regularly made FONOPs on the disputed Sea of South China.
“FoN ops for USN (inactive) ships in the South China Sea, are intended to convey the message to China that the EEZ sloping around the SCS islands is an” “extreme maritime claim.” But what is the message of the 7th Fleet to India? Former Navy commander Admiral Arun Prakash (retd) tweeted on Friday.
He said in another tweet, “There is something strange here. When India ratified the UN Law of the Seas in 1995, the US failed to do so until now. For 7th Fleet to do FoN operations in Indian EEZ for violating our local law is bad enough. But appreciate it? USN please open IFF (friend or enemy ID)! ”
The development comes at a time when Indian and American naval forces have recently completed the isolation of many countries in the eastern region of the Indian Ocean (IOR). France, India, the US, Japan and Australia have developed sophisticated marine navigation systems east of the IOR to increase cooperation between their ships from April 5 to April 7.
On April 7, the U.S. Navy said in a statement that the USS John Paul Jones guaranteed the rights and freedoms to travel around the Maldives by conducting an “innocent route” within its EEZ without seeking permission. He said this was in line with international law.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has released the 2020 Annual Freedom of Movement (FON) Report on March 10, 2021. These reports point to a wide range of maritime extremism issues being challenged by the US government. “This year… the US military has challenged 28 different naval applications by 19 international applicants,” the State Department said in a statement on March 16.
The DoD’s operational challenges, also known as FONOPs, are designed to challenge maritime maritime claims that illegally restrict the freedom of movement and abundance and other legal maritime international activities related to this guaranteed freedom in international law as enshrined in the 1982 Sea Convention Act, the statement said.