Kochi: Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will inaugurate an international seminar to be held on November 13 here, commemorating the 10th anniversary of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).Chief of naval staff Admiral Sunil Lamba, chiefs of naval forces of several other countries and senior officers of Indian Navy will be present.

It will be followed by a tall ship sailing regatta on November 14. Indian Navy vessels INS Tarangini and Sudarshini as well as Zinat-Al-Bihaar of Oman are included. 

IONS is an inclusive and voluntary initiative that brings together navies of littoral states of the Indian Ocean region, with an aim to enhance maritime cooperation and regional security. It is a forum for discussion, policy formulation as well as numerous aspects of naval operations, all of which are crucial elements of a cooperative mechanism.

The first edition of IONS was held in New Delhi. Since then, the chairmanship of IONS has been tenanted by the navies of the UAE, South Africa, Australia, Bangladesh and Iran. Today, IONS has 24 member and 8 observer nations.