India, Oman Extend MOU on Military Cooperation to 2015

India and Oman have extend­ed the valid­i­ty of the exist­ing bilat­er­al Mem­o­ran­dum of Under­stand­ing (MoU) on Mil­i­tary Coop­er­a­tion, signed in Decem­ber 2005, for a fur­ther peri­od of five years. The doc­u­ments were signed by the Defence Min­is­ter Shri AK Antony and the vis­it­ing Min­is­ter Respon­si­ble for Defence Affairs of the Sul­tanate of Oman, His Excel­len­cy Badar bin Saud bin Harib al Busai­di here today.

Bilat­er­al defence coop­er­a­tion between India and Oman has been grow­ing over the years. The Navies of both coun­tries are con­duct­ing a joint exer­cise “Naseem Al Bahr off the coast of Mum­bai from Decem­ber 26–31, 2011. The IAF and the Roy­al Air Force of Oman held a joint exer­cise “East­ern Bridge” at Jam­na­gar, Gujarat in Octo­ber ear­li­er this year.

Dur­ing the del­e­ga­tion lev­el talks both sides not­ed that bilat­er­al defence coop­er­a­tion activ­i­ties have been pro­gress­ing sat­is­fac­to­ri­ly. The 5th meet­ing of the India-Oman Joint Mil­i­tary Coop­er­a­tion Com­mit­tee was held recent­ly in India in Sep­tem­ber, 2011.

Both the Min­is­ters dis­cussed impor­tant issues relat­ing to region­al and mar­itime secu­ri­ty. Shri Antony not­ed that inci­dents of pira­cy were tak­ing place close to the Oman coast and have also been spread­ing close to the Lak­shad­weep Islands. Both Min­is­ters stressed the need for con­tin­ued and con­cert­ed efforts of the world com­mu­ni­ty to effec­tive­ly address the prob­lem. Shri Antony con­veyed that the vis­it of the Oman Defence Min­is­ter is an impor­tant step in con­tin­u­ing the dia­logue on defence and secu­ri­ty issues between the two coun­tries.

The Indi­an del­e­ga­tion includ­ed the Defence Sec­re­tary Shri Shashikant Shar­ma and Chief of Inte­grat­ed Staff to the Chief of Staff Com­mit­tee (CISC) Vice Admi­ral ShekharSin­ha.