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Paris wants a coordinated European military maritime presence in the Indian Ocean

The North-West Indian Ocean includes critical areas for circulation and maritime trade. France encourages the development of a “more global maritime presence”.

France is pushing the idea of ​​a rise in European military power in the north-west of the Indian Ocean through the through coordination between the navies of the countries of the Union as of this year, declared Thursday the French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly.

France, which exercises the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first semester, “supports the implementation of the Coordinated Maritime Presence (PMC, editor’s note) in the north-west of the Indian Ocean as of this year”, declared Ms Parly during a conference of press in Brest, on the occasion of an informal meeting of European Defense Ministers.

A PMC consists of planning the actions of the various European navies in a zone in a coordinated manner, in order to to optimize in particular the time spent at sea.

Critical areas for maritime trade

The EU has already set up a PMC d recently, in the Gulf of Guinea, to fight against piracy and illicit practices.

“We recalled the need to develop a more global maritime presence”, said Florence Parly.The North-West Indian Ocean brings together critical areas for circulation and maritime trade, such as the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb, the Arabian Sea, the Strait of Hormouz. They are both of major strategic and geopolitical interest and the scene of certain illegal activities such as drug trafficking or illegal fishing.

The European Union already has ad hoc coordinates in these areas, such as Operation Agenor (securing the Strait of Hormuz) or Atalante (Gulf of Aden). This desire to increase European power also comes a few months after the adoption by the Union of a strategy for the Indo-Pacific (of which the Indian Ocean is a part) and which could be a major source of international tension in the years to come, in particular due to growing tensions between the United States and its allies and China.