With piracy becoming a serious global threat, India plans to intensify its cooperation with the other Indian Ocean rim countries to counter the menace.
It's a "tremendous opportunity" for India to step up cooperation with the 18 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor told reporters here Saturday.
"It will help us to combat piracy, which is becoming a serious problem," Tharoor said.
The Indian Ocean rim countries are planning to set up an anti-piracy centre in Yemen.
Tharoor also made a pitch for improving people-to-people contacts and joint projects between India and the Indian Ocean rim countries.
He had represented India at the plenary meeting of IOR-ARC in Yemen in June, his first trip abroad after assuming office.
Speaking at the conference, Tharoor asked the member countries to identify priority areas in academic, business and trade and investment groups and draw up an action plan to intensify multi-pronged cooperation that can touch the lives of the people of the region.
Yemen currently holds the rotating presidency of IOR-ARC.
India will take charge of the Indian Ocean body in another two years.