India has joined the Djibouti Code of Conduct as an observer which is expected to provide it a strategic heft in the Indian Ocean region.
The Djibouti Code of Conduct/Jeddah Amendment (DCOC/JA) is a grouping on maritime issues comprising 18 member states adjoining the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the East coast of Africa.
The external affairs ministry said India joined the DCOC/JA as an observer following a virtual meeting of the grouping on August 26.
In a statement, it said India joins Japan, Norway, the UK and the US as observers of the grouping.
India's joining of the grouping comes at a time China has been making concerted efforts to expand its military influence in the Indian Ocean Region.