India and Oman on Monday inked an agreement for exchange of white shipping information and to boost maritime security cooperation in reflection of growing cooperation between the two sides. The pact was signed by Chief of Navy Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and his Omani counterpart Admiral Saif bin Nasser bin Mohsen Al-Rahbi in Muscat, officials said.
Admiral Singh is on a three-day visit to Oman from Monday. "The signing of the MoU between Royal Navy of Oman and Indian Navy would facilitate information exchange on merchant shipping traffic," Indian Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal said.
He said information would be exchanged between the Indian Navy's Information Fusion Centre and the MSC (Maritime Security Centre), Oman, and contribute to enhanced maritime safety and security in the region.
Apart from talks with Al-Rahbi, Singh is also scheduled to meet Chief of Staff Omani armed forces Vice Admiral Abdullah Khamis Abdullah Al Raisi, Commander of Royal Army of Oman Maj Gen Matar Bin Salim Bin Rashid Al Balushi, Commander of Royal Air Force Air Vice Marshal Khamis Bin Hammad Bin Sultan Al Ghafri.
He would also be visiting key defence installations like Muaskar Al Murtafa (MAM) camp, Maritime Security Centre (MSC), Said Bin Sultan Naval Base, Al Musanna Air Base and National Defence College, Oman. The Indian Navy cooperates with the Royal Navy of Oman on many fronts that include operational interactions and training.
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 in 2022. "This official visit of the Chief of Naval Staff to Oman highlights the growing cooperation between Indian Navy and Royal Navy of Oman," Commander Madhwal said.
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