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Indian Navy Chief holds talks with Saudi Navy Chief in Delhi

Admiral Fahad Abdullah S Al-Ghofaily (R), Chief of Staff, Royal Saudi Naval Forces, being presented a memento by Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, in New Delhi on Thursday, January 11, 2024. (Photo: Indian Navy)

NEW DELHI (PTI): Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Admiral Fahad Abdullah S Al-Ghofaily, Chief of Staff, Royal Saudi Naval Forces, have held discussions on collaborative mechanisms and measures to further strengthen navy-to-navy cooperation, officials said.

Admiral Al-Ghofaily is on a four-day official visit to India from January 10, the Defence Ministry said in a statement in Delhi.

"The visit is a testimony to the long-standing relationship between the navies of Saudi Arabia and India," it said.

Admiral Al-Ghofaily called on Admiral Kumar and "held discussions on collaborative mechanisms and measures to further strengthen navy-to-navy cooperation," the statement said.

He was received with a ceremonial Guard of Honour at the South Block Lawns of the Raisina Hills complex.

"The Indian Navy cooperates with Royal Saudi Naval Force through various initiatives, which include operational interactions such as bilateral naval exercise Al Mohed Al Hindi, training and other maritime avenues," the Ministry said.

Indian Navy ships have been regularly undertaking port calls at various ports of Saudi Arabia, it added.

"The Indian Navy has also been interacting with Royal Saudi Naval Force in various multilateral fora viz. IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium), MILAN, CMF (Combined Maritime Forces) and DCoC-JA (Djibouti Code of Conduct - Jeddah Amendment), where both navies have been supporting each other to supplement maritime security in the region," the statement read.

The visit of Admiral Al-Ghofaily also includes interaction with the Chief of Defence Staff, Defence Secretary, Chief of Air Staff and Vice Chief of Army Staff in India, officials said.

During this visit, the Admiral would also visit Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean region (IFC-IOR) at Gurugram and Southern Naval Command in Kochi.

"The extant visit by the Chief of Staff, Royal Saudi Naval Forces is aimed to increase naval cooperation between the two navies and has renewed the sense of commitment of two friendly maritime neighbours to address shared maritime challenges in the IOR," it added.

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