Pentagon defends its Navy ship asserting navigational rights inside India's EEZ without permission

Lalit K Jha
·1-min read

Washington, Apr 10 (PTI) The Pentagon has said that its Navy ship conducting navigational rights within India's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) without the permission of New Delhi was consistent with international law.

India has lodged a strong protest against such a move by the US regarding the passage of US Navy ship John Paul Jones through its EEZ.

'I can tell you is that the USS John Paul Jones, a Navy destroyer, asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of the Republic of the Maldives by conducting innocent passage through its territorial sea in normal operations within its exclusive economic zone without requesting prior permission,' Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Friday.

'That's consistent with international law. Again, we continue to maintain the right, indeed the responsibility, to fly, sail, and operate in accordance with international law,' he said in response to a question from reporters at a Pentagon news conference.

Kirby said that it is the responsibility of the US to uphold the freedom of navigation and the rights and freedom and lawful uses of the sea recognised in international law. PTI LKJ KJ