India and Oman today vowed to deepen bilateral defence ties as the two countries signed four key agreements in the critical sector with focus on enhancing military cooperation.
The agreements on defence cooperation, marine crime prevention, maritime issues and flight safety information exchange was signed following the maiden visit of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to Oman, considered one of the closest country in the middle east.
Parrikar, who is on an official visit at the invitation of Bader Bin Saud Bin Harib Al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defense Affairs of Oman, today wrapped up his visit and left for UAE.
During his talks with the leadership there, 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, a statement by the Defence Ministry said.
Both sides noted that defence cooperation is a key facet of their bilateral strategic partnership.
It was agreed that the two sides would further expand and consolidate their ongoing bilateral defence cooperation, the statement said.
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 overflight of IAF planes.
He 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 naval ships INS Delhi, INS Deepak and INS Tarkash.
Parrikar was accompanied by a high-level official delegation comprising Secretary (Defence Production) Ashok Gupta, DRDO chief Dr S Christopher, Army Vice Chief Lt Gen MMS Rai, designated new Navy chief Vice Admiral Sunil Lanba, IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal B S Dhanoa besides 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 Parrikar.