United States Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Navy recently deployed its P8I surveillance planes for carrying out anti-piracy patrol sorties from Salalah (in Oman) to patrol the Gulf of Aden and other piracy prone areas.
- Objective: The deployment is an expansion of Navy’s Mission Based Deployments (MBD) in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), to keep the region safe.
- Background: Since 2008, India has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the commercially and strategically crucial Gulf of Aden. This is the second time in 2019 that the P-8I was operated from Salalah for anti-piracy. First time it was operated in January 2019.
- Services: Indian Navy provides escorting services to Indian flagged vessels as well as provides protection to ships of other countries. Till date Indian Navy has deployed 73 ships on anti-piracy patrols and has escorted over 3,440 ships, out of which 3,027 were of foreign flag and 413 were of Indian flag. Also, no ship under Indian escort has so far been hijacked by pirates.
- Background: In 2012, India placed orders from United States for 12 ‘P-8’ India maritime surveillance and anti-submarine under a $2.2 Billion deal. The deal was later followed up with four more order of these planes.
- Function: It is used for carrying out extensive surveillance of the Indian Ocean region (IOR) and the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
- It is long-range anti-submarine warfare, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations.
- It is capable of providing a long-range Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).
- It has also helped in detection of Chinese nuclear and conventional submarines operating in IOR and other regions close to India.
About Mission Based Deployments
With the increasing geo-strategic importance of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) Indian Navy regularly deploys ships for Presence and Surveillance Missions (PSM), off critical choke points or sea lanes in IOR. Under MBD concept, since August 2017 Indian Navy deployments in IOR have been further structured such as that Navy maintains a ship at every choke point in IOR at any point of time.
- India has stepped up its cooperation with Indian Ocean littoral states and maritime neighbours, as part of expanding its maritime engagement. Also, ‘search and rescue’ operations and capability-enhancement activities have also emerged as key areas.
- Under India’s Neighbourhood First policy, Navy undertakes various maritime exercises such as Joint Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance exercise with Mauritius, Seychelles and Maldives Coordinated Patrols (CORPAT) exercise with Indonesia, Myanmar Thailand and Bangladesh.
Tags: 'Neighbourhood First' Policy • Coordinated Patrols • CORPAT • EEZ • Exclusive Economic Zone • Gulf of Aden • Indian Navy • Indian Ocean littoral states • Indian Ocean Region • IOR • Mission Based Deployments • Oman • P8I surveillance planes • Presence and Surveillance Missions • Salalah • United States
The 14th summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Mecca, Saudi Arabia was hosted by Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
Key Highlights of Summit
- Agenda: The official agenda of meeting was to address ‘current issues in Muslim world’ and ‘recent developments in a number of OIC member states. Also, amid soaring tension between Iran and the US and its Gulf allies the OIC summit discussed the regional security issues. The Mecca summit supported Palestinians and backed Saudis in Iran standoff.
- Background: In December 2017, The United States President Donald Trump broke the decades of established protocol by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In May 2018 US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The suit was soon followed by Guatemala.
- Political leaders and heads of state from Islamic nations unanimously condemned countries including United Sates decision of making “illegal and irresponsible decision” to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
- In a joint statement at OIC summit in Saudi Arabia, the leaders called on countries that have moved their embassies to Jerusalem (by recognizing it as Israel’s capital) to rethink their strategy and which OIC considered as a serious violation of international law and international legitimacy.
About Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
- It was established in 1969 by 24 member states and presently has 57 member states from four continents.
- Members: Out of total 57 member states the organisation has several significant non-Arab member states, like Turkey, Iran and Pakistan. The 22 members of the Arab League are also part of OIC. It has five observer members, including Russia and Thailand.
- With a collective population of more than 1.8 billion, it is the second largest intergovernmental body after the United Nations (UN).
- Objective: As per OIC charter, it aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend national sovereignty and independence of its member states and also to contribute to international peace and security.
- OIC states itself as ‘the collective voice of the Muslim world’ and works towards protecting interests of Muslim world.
- Summit: OIC holds an Islamic Summit once every three years at which heads of state discuss ways to achieve OIC’s charter’s objectives and make policy decisions that concern its member states.
- OIC has permanent delegations to the UN and the European Union (EU)
- Its official languages are Arabic, English and French.
Tags: 14th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Summit • EU • European Union • Guatemals • Islamic Summit • Jerusalem • Mecca • OIC Summit • Palestine • Saudi Arabia • Tel Aviv • UN • United Nation • United States • US-Israel