India backs Russia’s inclusion in IORA

NEW DELHI, NOVember 23

With Indian support, Russia has become the dialogue partner of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) after a meeting of its Foreign Ministers hosted by Bangladesh last week.

India has been calling on Russia to play a bigger role in the Indian Ocean Region while Moscow wants New Delhi to be more active in Central Asia and the Russian Far East. The common interest is to use the other’s presence to balance China.

The IORA has 23 members all across the Indian Ocean Rim and 10 dialogue partners, including China, the US, Japan, South Korea, Britain and Germany. Pakistan is not eligible to join IORA because its founding members, including India, had decided that any country which does not have most favoured nation status will not be admitted. Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the decision reflected “the high assessment of Russia's tangible contribution to ensuring sustainable dynamics in the development of the Indian Ocean zone”. — TNS

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