|Published: May 2016|
New Delhi. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar paid an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman from May 20-22 at the invitation of Bader Bin Saud Bin Harib Al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs of Oman.
During his visit, the Defence Minister met Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said, Minister of Royal Office Lt Gen Sultan bin Mohammed Al Nuâ€™amani and held bilateral talks with Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs Bader Bin Saud Bin Harib Al Busaidi.
During the meetings all aspects of bilateral defence cooperation including enhanced military to military exchanges were discussed. Both sides also exchanged views on regional developments of mutual interest.
Mr Parrikar reiterated the high importance that India attaches to its strategic partnership with Oman. He 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.
The Minister visited the Military Technology College and the Sultanâ€™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.
Four Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs)/ agreements were signed during the visit. These are:
- MoU on Defence Cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of Sultanate of Oman and Ministry of Defence of Republic of India;
- MoU between the Royal Oman Police (Coast Guard) and the Indian Coast Guard in the field of Marine Crime Prevention at Sea;
- MoU between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the Republic of India on Maritime Issues; and
- Protocol between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman represented by Royal Air Force of Oman and the Government of India represented by the Indian Air Force 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.
The Defence Minister was accompanied by a high-level official delegation comprising Secretary (Defence Production) Ashok Gupta; Secretary (R&D) & DG, DRDO Dr S Christopher; Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen MMS Rai; FOC-in-C Western Naval Command Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba; Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal BS Dhanoa and other senior defence ministry officials. A defence industry delegation comprising Additional DG, Ordnance Factory Board SC Bajpai and CMD, Bharat Electronics Limited SK Sharma also accompanied the Defence Minister.