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Current Affairs

India-Oman ties

Date: 01 February 2022 Tags: India & World

Issue

Top defence official of Oman, Mohammed Nasser Al Zaabi will be visiting India on an official visit from January 30 to February 4.

 

Background

As the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Defence of Oman, he is the executive head of the Omani defence establishment.

 

Details

  • Al Zaabi will co-chair the Joint Military Cooperation Committee (JMMC) with Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar of India.

  • The JMCC, being the highest form of defense engagement between the two countries, will evaluates and provide guidance to the overall framework of defence exchanges between the two sides.

  • Taking place after a period of three years, the JMCC will provide a roadmap for further strengthening defence ties in the coming years.

 

Defence partnership with Oman

  • Being India’s closest partner in the Gulf, Oman has turned out to be an important anchor for India’s defence and strategic interests.

  • Indian armed forces conduct regular bilateral exercises and staff talks with their counterparts in Oman, becoming the only country in Gulf with such robust ties.

  • Indian Navy gets critical operational support from Oman during its deployment in Arabian Sea to tackle piracy.

  • Forces of Oman regularly enroll in training courses in India both at professional as well as higher command level. Indian forces also do the same.

 

Historical ties with India

  • Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said studied in India and was the student of former President of India Shankar Dayal Sharma.

  • He was generous towards the Indian community and India’s requests for help, which was influenced from his student days in India.

  • After his death in 2020, India observed national mourning for one day on January 13, 2020 in his honour. He was conferred with Gandhi Peace Prize.

 

Role of Sultan Qaboos

  • India used its ties with the Sultan to sign a strategic agreement for using the strategically-located Duqm port.

  • The Sultan was involved in negotiation with Yemeni parties while securing the release of Vatican priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was abducted in Yemen.

 

Significance of Duqm port

  • The Port of Duqm is located in southeastern coast of the country, overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

  • It is close enough to Chabahar port of Iran and is part of strategic ports developed by India, including Assumption Island in Seychelles and Agalega in Mauritius.

  • India has deployed an attack submarine, a naval ship and two P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft for military use.

  • Indian companies are investing about $1.8 billion in the special economic zone. The Adani Group has signed MoU with Duqm Port Authority.

 

Indians in Oman

More than 6 lakh Indians reside in Oman. Majority of them are engaged in profession such as doctors, nurses, engineers, lecturers, managers etc.