India, Oman Navy Chiefs hold talks to explore new avenues of defence cooperation

Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nasser Bin Mohsin Al Rahbi, who is on “a goodwill visit” to India, held discussions with his Indian counterpart Admiral R Hari Kumar on Monday “to explore avenues to further enhance cooperation between the Navies”.

The Navy in a statement on Monday said that Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nasser Bin Mohsin Al Rahbi, Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman (CRNO) “is on a goodwill visit of to India” and his visit “aims to consolidate bilateral relations with Indian Navy, as also to explore new avenues for defence cooperation with India.”

“The first visit of the incumbent CRNO to India, reverberates the growing cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman, which include operational interactions, training and exchange of Subject Matter Experts. Both Navies have been participating in the biennial maritime exercise ‘Naseem Al Bahr’ since 1993. This exercise was last conducted in 2020, off Goa and the next edition is scheduled later this year. INS Sudarshini visited Muscat in December 2021 and had embarked RNO Sea Riders for sea experience.” the Navy said.

Rear Admiral Al Rahbi is on a five-day goodwill visit to India from Sunday.

Rear Admiral Al Rahbi will also visit the Western Naval Command at Mumbai during his trip, and will visit Indian Naval Ships at the dockyard there, the Navy said.

The development comes two weeks after Oman’s Secretary General at the Ministry of Defence Mohammed Bin Nasser Bin Ali Al Zaabi had held the 11th India–Oman Joint Military Cooperation Committee Meeting (JMCC) on bilateral defence cooperation with Indian Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar.

India and Oman have very strong defence ties, and all three services have bilateral exchanges and exercises with Oman’s services.

Oman provides operational support to the Indian Navy for anti-piracy missions in the Arabian Sea. Also, India had got access to the Duqm port in Oman, strengthening India’s capability and maritime strategy in the Indian Ocean Region, especially against China’s aggressive advance in the region.

On January 31, Zaabi had also met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the chiefs of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and leaders of India’s defence industry.

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