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British offshore patrol vessel visits Andaman and Nicobar Islands

NEW DELHI (PTI): The UK's offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar has sailed to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as part of its permanent deployment in the Indo-Pacific.

Over the next five days, the ship and her crew will undertake capability demonstrations and maritime exercises with the Indian Navy, the British High Commission said.

HMS Tamar is one of two Royal Navy vessels on permanent deployment in the Indo-Pacific.

The High Commission said the ship's visit to India last  Friday is an opportunity to further strengthen the shared maritime domain awareness effort, and underlines the UK and India's intent to collaborate in the Indian Ocean Region and wider Indo-Pacific.

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Ben Key said, "I am delighted that HMS Tamar is visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands this week, during her first time sailing in the Indian Ocean."

He said the opportunity to engage with the local community and conduct training and exercises with the Indian Navy is "hugely valuable".

"The work HMS Tamar and her crew are doing with allies, partners and friends across the Indo-Pacific is crucial. As threats to global peace and stability mount, the Royal Navy values deeply its relationship with the Indian Navy in a shared endeavour to confront those who challenge the rules-based system and ensure peace and prosperity on and from the sea," he said.

Acting British High Commissioner to India, Christina Scott, said HMS Tamar's deployment is the UK's Indo-Pacific tilt in action.

"Its visit, further evidence of the importance we attach to our defence and security relationship with India," the diplomat said.

"The Indo-Pacific, and indeed India, will drive future growth and prosperity for the world. It is imperative that it remains free and open to all in support of trade, shared security and values," Scott said.

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