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Commander of Oman Navy Al Rahbi on India visit from Monday

Source : WION

Commander of Oman Navy Al Rahbi on India visit from Monday
File photo: Rear Admiral Saif bin Nasser bin Mohsen Al-Rahbi, Commander of Royal Navy of Oman (CRNO) and Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Indian Navy  Photograph:( Twitter )

The Commander of Royal Navy of Oman (CRNO) Rear Admiral Saif Al Rahbi will be on India visit from 14 to 18 February even as both sides increase military engagement.

The visit comes days after the visit of the Secretary-General of Omani Defence ministry, Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi to India. Rear Admiral Saif’s visit, who assumed charge last January is significant in terms of New Delhi’s outreach to the new military leadership which was appointed under the new Sultan of Oman. 

This is the first India visit by CRNO RAdm Saif Al Rahbi during which he will meet all the two services Chiefs’, members of the National Security Council, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla and senior officers from the Armed forces at Delhi. He will also visit operational facilities, ship building and repair facilities at Mumbai and Western Naval Command which deals with deployment of ships in the gulf.

The key focus during India visit will be India-Oman Navy to Navy Staff Talks that will take place from 15 1o 18 February. CRNO will be visiting the IFC-IOR or Information Fusion Centre for the Indian Ocean Region with emphasis on early operationalization of Information Exchange. Information Fusion Centre Indian Ocean Region is Gurugram based Indian Navy’s eye in the region. 

The Centre has linkages with more than 50 nations and multinational/ maritime security centers. It hosts International Liaison Officers (ILOs) from 10 partner nations – Australia, France, Japan, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles Singapore, United Kingdom, United States of America. More ILOs are expected to join it in near future.

Training and naval equipment procurement from India will dominate the talks between Indian side and CRNO, who is also the Chairman Maritime Security Committee of Oman.

Both countries already have a White Shipping Exchange Agreement. The then Indian Navy Chief Karambir Singh had visited Oman last September. Last Visit by Oman Navy Chief to India was undertaken in September 2017. The west Asian country also provides critical operational support to Indian naval deployments in the Arabian sea for anti-piracy missions and actively participates in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

More high-level engagements are seen between Indian, Omani military leadership. Chief of Oman’s Air force will also visit India soon even as Jodhpur will see Air exercises between the two countries later this month. The annual bilateral air exercise this year will see the participation of over 150 personnel from Oman.

Oman is the only country in the Gulf region with which all 3 services of the Indian armed forces conduct regular bilateral exercises and staff talks. Oman is India’s closest defence partner in the Gulf region and Defence exchanges are a part of a framework MOU which was renewed in 2021.

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