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'Indian Navy committed to keeping Indian Ocean safe'
September 03, 2007 15:25 IST
The Indian Navy is committed to fighting piracy and ensuring the safe passage of ships in the Indian Ocean, which is the the main seaway for over 90 per cent of the world's shipping routes, said Rear Admiral Shekhar Sinha, the flag officer commanding the Western fleet, in Oman on Monday.
Three Indian warships, headed by Sinha, are on a four-day visit to Oman, one of India's maritime neighbours,
The Indian Navy's western fleet is deployed routinely among India's maritime neighbours, said Sinha. The three ships -- INS Delhi, INS Beas and INS Jyoti -- are on a 'Goodwill Flag-Showing Mission' to Gulf countries.
Rear Admiral Sinha said that the fleet is committed to keeping the Indian Ocean stable and free of piracy by cooperating with its maritime neighbours like Oman. Indian Ambassador to Oman Anil Wadhwa said that the western fleet's visit emphasises that India's traditional relations with Gulf countries are quite strong and will continue to be so.
"The fleet's visit also strengthens our resolve to cooperate with various navies to ensure the safe passage of commercial ships," said Wadhwa. Top officials of the ship have already visited the Oman naval base and ships belonging to the Royal Navy of Oman.
Joint naval exercises will be conducted every two years according to a pact between the two countries, said Sinha. The two countries are also cooperating in the fields of hydrographics and information technology.