US Navy says it conducted 'Freedom of Navigation' ops near Lakshadweep without prior Indian consent

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Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], April 9 (ANI): US Naval ships on April 7 conducted the freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near Lakshadweep Islands, inside India's exclusive economic zone without taking prior consent from the Indian side.

In a statement issued by the US Navy's 7th Fleet, it said: "USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) asserted navigational rights and freedoms approximately 130 nautical miles west of the Lakshadweep Islands, inside India's exclusive economic zone, without requesting India's prior consent, consistent with international law."

It stated that India requires prior consent for military exercises or manoeuvres in its exclusive economic zone or continental shelf.

As per the UN Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) the distance of 12 nautical miles from the baseline as territorial sea limit and a distance of 200 nautical miles distance is exclusive economic zone limit.

US Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis. It flies, sails and operate in accordance with international law, the American Navy said. (ANI)