India and Oman have agreed for deeper cooperation in maritime security and defense industry for future engagement and range of measures to enhance the defense relationship between the two countries, Financial Express reported.
Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib Al Busadi (photo), Omani Defense Minister paid an official visit to India on September 27, 2018 at the invitation of Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Omani Minister was accompanied by Lt. General Ahmed bin Harith Al Nabhani, Chief-of-Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF), Indian Ambassador appointed to the Sultanate and number of SAF senior officers, according to Oman News Agency (ONA).
The two sides undertook a comprehensive review of bilateral defense cooperation and discussed measures to further enhance bilateral exchanges.
According to diplomatic sources, the two countries share strong and multifaceted defense ties. The three wings of the Armed Forces hold staff talks and advanced joint exercises with each other. Several enabling agreements and Memoranda of Understanding have been signed between the two countries pertaining to defense related issues.
The two Ministers also shared their perspectives on recent developments related to regional security.
Oman is considered a strategic partner for India geopolitically and historically. The Sultanate has opened access to the key Port of Duqm in Oman for military use and logistical support. The Port of Duqm and dry dock will be available for providing maintenance to the Indian Naval vessels. And this will also allow India to expand its footprints in the Indian Ocean Region.
Oman is the first GCC to formalize Defense ties with India from joint military exercise and cooperation in anti piracy and security matters.
Both countries have decided to cooperate in the area of coastal defense, besides holding regular joint exercises by the three defense forces, training of navy, air and army officials.