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Chiefs of Indian and Oman navies hold talks

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Commander of Royal Navy of Oman (CRNO) Rear Admiral Saif Bin Nasser Bin Mohsin Al Rahbi on Monday held talks with India's top military brass, including Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, on further expansion of bilateral maritime security cooperation.

Rear Admiral Al Rahbi is on a five-day visit to India from Sunday.

Besides holding talks with Admiral Hari Kumar, the visiting official met Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane and Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

"The visit aims to consolidate bilateral relations with Indian Navy, as also to explore new avenues for defence cooperation with India," the Indian Navy said.

It said both the commanders held discussions to explore avenues to further enhance cooperation between the two navies.

"The first visit of the incumbent CRNO to India reverberates the growing cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman, which includes operational interactions, training and exchange of subject matter experts," the Indian Navy said in a statement.

Rear Admiral Al Rahbi was accorded a 50-men guard of honour at the South Block lawns before his talks with Admiral Hari Kumar.

The Army said Rear Admiral Al Rahbi and Gen Naravane discussed ways to enhance bilateral defence cooperation.

After the meeting between the visiting official and Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari, the IAF said contemporary issues of mutual interest and ways to enhance defence cooperation were discussed by the two chiefs.

The cooperation between Indian and Omani navies have been on an upswing in the last few years.

Both navies have been participating in the biennial maritime exercise 'Naseem Al Bahr' since 1993. This exercise was last conducted in 2020, off Goa and the next edition is scheduled later this year.

"Foreign Secretary @harshvshringla met visiting Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman Rear Admiral Saif Nasser Al Rahbi. Both referred to the long history of India-Oman maritime cooperation," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.

Rear Admiral Al Rahbi would also be visiting the Indian Navy's Western Naval Command in Mumbai where he would be interacting with the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command and visit Indian Navy ships.

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