New Delhi: In an effort to strengthen naval maritime security cooperation, India and European Union (EU) ships carried out coordinated operations in the Gulf of Guinea, the Ministry of Defence said.

EU and India carried out their maiden cooperative naval drill in the Gulf of Guinea on October 24.

The drill came after the third EU-India Maritime Security Dialogue summit, which took place in Brussels on October 5.

During the exercise, Indian Navy's INS Sumedha, an Offshore Patrol Vessel, was joined by three EU Member States' ships in the Gulf of Guinea: Italian Navy Ship ITS Foscari, French Navy Ship FS Ventose, and Spanish Navy Ship Tornado.

The four ships practiced a series of tactical manoeuvres in international waters off the coast of Ghana, including a boarding exercise, a flying exercise using the helicopters embarked on French Ship Ventose and Indian Naval Ship Sumedha, and transfer of personnel between ships, the Ministry of Defence said in an official release.

This exercise was followed by a knowledge sharing session in Accra, Ghana which built on the joint experience at sea to improve operational know-how.

According to the release, the session also helped deepen ties between Ghanaian officials and representatives of the Indian, EU and EU Member States missions to Ghana.

These activities demonstrated the mutual dedication of the European Union and India to aiding coastal nations and the Yaounde Architecture in guaranteeing maritime safety in the Gulf of Guinea

They reflected the breadth and dynamism of EU-India cooperation on maritime security, and signalled the common determination to uphold the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).