US knocks on Asia’s door
The 19-member Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), is set to hold its 12th Council of Ministers Meeting from 29th October to November 2012 in Gurgaon, India. The association has much to consider during the course of this meeting, including a request from the US that it be invited as a “dialogue partner”. Other items on the agenda include the setting up of a joint task force to identify and address various non-tariff barriers affecting regional trade in the food processing industry and piracy, among other issues.
The US has been an Indian Ocean “power” for a long time however, the ocean has gained a new salience for her and the US has acquired a new profile both on account of its new Asian pivot and the new ‘Indo-Pacific’ articulation of its maritime strategy in the region.
The IOR-ARC already has five dialogue partners—China, Japan, Egypt, France and the UK—so the US should get an invitation without any problem. News reports suggest that India has welcomed the move while Iran is expected to oppose the US’s induction. However, the US will find strong endorsement for its request from the African and other Indian Ocean countries, including Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.
The “return” of the US to Asia and the Indian Ocean region comes in the wake of declining US economic and strategic presence in Asia. The
Be the first to comment.