Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi attended the 23rd International Seapower Symposium (ISS) held at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport from September 18-21, 2018.
During the visit, in meetings preceding the symposium, the Naval Chief met U.S.’ military and political dignitaries and think tanks, including: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson; Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, Mr. Randall Schriver; President of the Center for a New American Security, Mr. Richard Fontaine; Vice President of the Heritage Foundation, Dr. James Jay Carafano; and CEO Atlantic Council, Mr. Frederick Kempe.
During these meetings, matters of mutual interest including bilateral defence ties and security environment in the Indian Ocean Region were discussed. The Naval Chief highlighted that Pakistan and U.S. shared common perspective of having stable, secure and peaceful maritime environment to support the global economy. Pakistan’s performance and its commitment to the fight against terrorism was reiterated. The Naval Chief also highlighted Pakistan Navy’s efforts for maintaining regional peace and security. He emphasized upon the need for enhancing global efforts to effectively confront the transnational challenges and threats in the maritime domain. U.S. dignitaries appreciated the role and contribution of Pakistan for maintaining peace and stability in the maritime domain.
During the interactions and round table discussions with prominent U.S. think tanks, the Naval Chief elaborated Pakistan’s initiative of Regional Maritime Security Patrol (RMSP) – aimed at shouldering international obligations towards safe and secure maritime environment in the region. Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi also met Ambassador of Pakistan to U.S., H.E. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui. In a media session the Naval Chief expanded on Pakistan’s maritime perspective with special focus on Pakistan Navy’s contributions to regional maritime security and opportunities offered by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to the region. He underscored Gwadar as a purely commercial harbour with no foreign warship’s entry in the Port. Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi also mentioned that as an ardent supporter of regional peace and collaborative maritime security, Pakistan Navy has planned to conduct Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-19 wherein around 50 countries are expected to join hands for a common resolve of ‘Together for Peace’.
During ISS’s proceedings, bilateral meetings between Chief of the Naval Staff and senior international naval dignitaries including Naval Chiefs of Australia, Brazil, Germany, Japan, PLA (N) and Turkey were held to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Chief of the Naval Staff also met Commandant U.S. Coast Guards, Admiral Karl Schultz and Commander US NAVCENT, Vice Admiral Scott A. Stearney.
The purpose of the symposium was to provide a forum for senior international naval leaders to discuss common maritime challenges and opportunities to enhance international maritime security cooperation. Discussions at ISS would further strengthen the efforts to enhance cooperation in countering piracy, providing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, coordinating search and rescue at sea, submarine rescue, planning and conducting coalition military operations, and joint law enforcement to counter arms, drugs and human trafficking as well as fisheries and pollution violations.
Participation of the Pakistan Naval Chief in the 23rd International Seapower Symposium reflects Pakistan’s commitment to regional peace and is a manifestation of its contribution towards regional maritime security through a collaborative approach.
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