New Delhi, 23rd May, 2016-India signed four defence MOUs with Oman as defence minister Manohar Parrikar concluded his three-day tour to Oman – a strategically important gulf country for India.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar visited Oman between 20- 24th May. Bilateral talks were held between defence ministers of the two countries Manohar Parrikar of India and Badr bin Saud al Busaidi of Oman with an objective of strengthening defence ties between India and Oman, resulting in four defence MOUs, which, were signed during this occasion.
The MOUs were signed by the two countries with the aim of pledging increased defence cooperation amongst the two countries. The MOUs include the agreement signed between Royal Oman Police (Coast Guard) and Indian Coast Guard for prevention of crime at sea. Apart from this, a MOU was signed for increasing defence co-operation, especially, in the maritime sector. An agreement was also signed between Royal Oman Air force and Indian Air force for exchanging defence related information between Air forces of two countries. These MOUs were of utmost importance due to Oman’s strategic location in the Gulf of Persia.
Indian defence minister, Manohar Parrikar applauded the cooperation given by Oman to Indian Navy for anti-piracy patrol as well as for providing landing and take-off facilities to Indian Air force Planes during the evacuation exercise of Indians citizens stuck in strife torn Yemen.
On his Oman tour, Defence minister of India visited various places in Oman like Military Technology College, Sultan Military Museum (Muscat), etc. He also visited the Yemen-Oman border and inspected the fencing work carried out by an Indian company here.
Mr. Parrikar was accompanied by a high-powered delegation which included Ashok Gupta, Secretary (Defence production); Dr S. Christopher, Director General of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO); Lt. Gen. MMS Rai, Vice Chief of Army Staff; Vice Adm. Sunil Lanba, Western Naval Command; and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Vice Chief of Air Staff.
Meanwhile Indian warships, INS Deepak, INS Tarkash & INS Delhi are visiting Oman currently.
India and Oman share strong defence ties, especially, in the naval space, as witnessed with the cooperation amongst the two countries which has intensified over the past decade. The recently concluded 10th naval exercise christened “Naseem Al Bahr” was carried out between two countries near the coast of Goa bears testimony of the same.
In recent years, India has not only improved its commercial ties with Gulf nations but, also had strengthened its defence cooperation. India has also cooperated with gulf countries when it comes to fighting terrorism. In order to have a continuous stimulus for enhancing its regional prowess, India, also, has associated herself with various associations in the Gulf region viz. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab league, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), to which, Oman is one of the important strategic partners.