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UK's Carrier Strike Group led by HMS Queen Elizabeth enters Bay of Bengal for ensuring free, open Indo-Pacific

ANI | October 15, 2021 02:39 PM
HMS Queen Elizabeth (Photo Credit - Reuters)

New Delhi [India], October 15 (ANI): The UK's Carrier Strike Group (CSG), led by HMS Queen Elizabeth has sailed into the Bay of Bengal on Friday for ensuring a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, said an official statement by the British High Commission.

The deployment is a powerful demonstration of the UK's commitment to deepening its diplomatic, economic and security-based ties in the Indo-Pacific region.

This comes after the UK-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership agreed upon by both Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson in May 2021.

British High Commissioner to India, Alex Ellis said, "India is an essential partner for the UK in the Indo-Pacific region. The Carrier Strike Group's visit demonstrates the deepening of the UK and India's defence and security partnership."

"Prime Ministers Modi and Johnson agreed to work in lockstep for our shared security and prosperity. This visit will boost the cooperation of our armed forces and show the living bridge connecting our people."

In its most substantial port visit to date, the CSG will provide a platform for a wide range of cultural demonstrations and trade and investment initiatives, read a press release.

Subsequently, the CSG will take part in the most demanding exercise ever between the UK and India, incorporating elements from all three military services, added the release.

First Sea Lord Adm Tony Radakin said, "The CSG's engagement with India showcases the deepening comprehensive strategic partnership. Both the Indian and the Royal Navy are blue-water, multi-carrier navies, which places us in a very exclusive club. Our growing interactions are a testimony to the shared commitment to a rules-based international system, a belief in the values of open trade, and in the importance of the freedom of the high seas - a right conveyed on all nations."

Moreover, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to India, Nepal and Bhutan, Marten van den Berg said, "The Indian Ocean is a gateway for Europe into the Indo-Pacific and The Netherlands definitely recognizes the increasing importance of the Indo-Pacific region and crucial role of India in this region. The visit to the port of Mumbai by HNLMS Evertsen is a confirmation of our long-standing strong relationship and a step towards enhancement of the Netherlands and India defence relations."

"The participation of HNLMS Evertsen in the UK Carrier Strike Group provides the Royal Netherlands Navy with a unique opportunity for the operations and training with allies and partners and to enhance diplomatic, security and economic ties while visiting different countries along the CSG route. The Netherlands and India are like-minded partners and are committed to effective multilateralism. The visit definitely reaffirms support to the rules-based international order and shares the common principles of security, stability and freedom of navigation by both nations," added Berg. (ANI)

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