India calls for utmost respect for UNCLOS

India on July 26 calls on stakeholders in the East Sea issue to show their “utmost respect” for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 while seeking for peaceful solutions to the disputes.

Speaking at the 14th ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said that New Delhi sees maritime cooperation as a key priority, noting sea lanes of communication passing through the East Sea are significant for peace, stability, prosperity and development.

The Indian diplomat appealed to all parties in the matter to avoid activities that could escalate tensions in the waters.

“India believes that States should resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate or escalate disputes affecting peace and stability,” he stated.

He said that as a state party to the UNCLOS, India urges all nations to respect the UNCLOS, which establishes international legal order of the seas and oceans.

India backs freedom of navigation, aviation and unimpeded commerce, based on principles of international laws reflected in the UNCLOS.

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