Muscat: Defence Manohar Parrikar, accompanied by a high level delegation, visited Oman from May 20-22 at the invitation of Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs of Oman Bader Bin Saud Bin Harib Al Busaidi, during which four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and a protocol were signed between the two nations.
Raksha Mantri was accompanied by a high-level official delegation comprising Ashok Gupta, Secretary, Defence Production; Dr S. Christopher, Secretary, R&D, and DG, DRDO; Lt. Gen MMS Rai, Vice Chief of Army Staff; Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, FOC-in-C Western Command; and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, Vice Chief of Air Staff, as well as other senior Defence Ministry officials.
A defence industry delegation comprising S.C. Bajpai, Additional DG, Ordinance Factory Board, and S.K. Sharma, CMD, Bharat Electronics Limited also accompanied the minister.
During his visit, Parrikar met Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said and Minister of Royal Office Lt Gen. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Nu’amani, and held bilateral talks with Al Busaidion all aspects of bilateral defence cooperation, including enhanced military to military exchanges. Both sides also exchanged views on regional developments of mutual interest.
Parrikar reiterated the high importance that India attaches to its strategic partnership with Oman and also conveyed his appreciation at the continued support rendered by Oman for the Operational Turnaround (OTR) of Indian Navy ships for anti-piracy patrols as well as technical support for landing and over flight of Indian Air Force aircraft.
Parrikar also visited the Military Technology College and the Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum in Muscat.
He also attended a reception at Sultan Qaboos Port to mark the goodwill visit to Oman of INS Delhi, INS Deepak and INS Tarkash.
During the Defence Minister’s visit four memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed, including an MOU on Defence Cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of Sultanate of Omanand Ministry of Defence of Republic of India;
An MoU was signed between the Royal Oman Police (Coast Guard) and the Indian Coast Guard in the field of Marine Crime Prevention at sea.
Another MoU was signed on Maritime Issues; and a protocol between Oman represented by Royal Air Force of Oman and India represented by the Indian Air Force was signed on Flight Safety information Exchange.
Both sides noted that defence cooperation is a key facet of their bilateral strategic partnership, which is based on historical ties as well as mutual trust and shared interests.
It was agreed that the two sides would further expand and consolidate their ongoing bilateral defence cooperation. (ANI)