The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) is a collaborative forum initiated by the Indian Navy in 2008, comprising biennial meetings between the littoral states of the Indian Ocean. It aims to enhance maritime security cooperation, address regional maritime issues, and promote friendly relationships among its members. The symposium has evolved with a rotating chairmanship and location, featuring 25 member nations and 9 observer states. The 8th edition was held in Bangkok, Thailand, in December 2023, with the Royal Thai Navy hosting the event. Key discussions revolved around maritime security, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief. India played a significant role, taking over as the co-chair of specific working groups and introducing the official IONS flag. The inclusion of the Republic of Korea as an observer expanded the collective strength to 34 nations. This platform serves as a critical mechanism for fostering maritime cooperation and understanding among nations in the Indian Ocean region.
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