India Concerned After US Navy Conducts Operation Near Lakshadweep Without India's Prior Consent

The US Navy conducted the Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in the Indian Ocean near Lake Lakeshadep when its warships entered the South China Sea (SSC) waters off the east coast of India without India's permission. The operation was in line with international law and challenged India's "excessive claims" at sea, the US Navy said in its statement.

The exercise was conducted by the guided-missile destroyer USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 76) and the US Navy's USS Gerald R. Ford (DDG 77) in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of India.

India said Friday it had conveyed its concerns to the United States after the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet announced plans for an operation to free navigation in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Karnataka state and Lake Eez near the country's east coast. India's government, under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, has declared that the Convention does not authorize any other state to "conduct military maneuvers or exercises, particularly those involving the use of weapons or explosives." There was no such maneuver authorized by India's maritime security policy, it said.

We have passed on our concerns about the transition to the EEZ to the US government through diplomatic channels, "it said. The USS John Paul Jones has been under constant observation since March, cruising through the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Malacca.

A statement from the US 7th Fleet said: 'The USS John Paul Jones has exercised its right to seek India's consent first, in accordance with international law. India needs the consent of the United States, which is incompatible with all international laws.

The declaration is a shock to New Delhi, given that the US is India's closest strategic partner and that both sides have repeatedly expressed their common interest in Indian Ocean security. India and the US hold naval exercises every year, but not for the first time in recent years.

The group of four, made up of the US, India, Japan, and Australia, is seen as a buffer against an increasingly assertive Beijing. He added: "We have stepped up our efforts to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region, including support for freedom of navigation and territorial integrity, as we have done in the past and will continue to do so, even as the US administration has taken a more aggressive stance toward China's assertiveness in its territorial claims to the South China Sea.