The DUQM Naval Base in Oman, which provides strategic access to the Indian Navy, is visited by AJit Doval, India’s National Security Advisor.

World News

Ajit Doval also travelled to Duqm, which is 550 square kilometres away from Muscat and home to a Special Economic Zone. It covers an area of 2000 square kilometres.

According to officials, the local government presented to the NSA a number of prospects for investors, including the potential of 100% ownership, tax exemptions, and promotional rates with favourable grace periods. In a region named Ras Markaz, near to the Duqm, Oman also wants to establish significant oil reserves.

The Gulf of Oman, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea are all visible from the port of Duqm. It will be important to India’s maritime strategy and security, particularly in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), where China is extending its influence. The port can give India access to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden due to its location northwest of the Indian Ocean.

The Chabahar Port in Iran, an important Indian asset abroad, is strategically near to the Duqm Port. An assault submarine from India has been stationed at this port in the Arabian Sea. Two long-range P-8 maritime patrol aircraft, the INS Mumbai, and a submarine of the Shishumar class all arrived at the port.

Oman is a member of the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Countries, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), making it one of India’s longest strategic partners in West Asia. Oman is also a key ally in the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Arab League.

The main tenet of the bilateral Strategic Partnership has developed as the defence cooperation between Oman and India. As its closest ally in the Gulf, Oman serves as a crucial pillar for India’s interests and needs in terms of defence and strategy. The powerful strategic partnership between India and Oman now stands on the foundation of defence cooperation. A framework Memorandum of Understanding, which was recently extended through 2021, governs the defence exchanges.

An official reminded that Oman has given the Indian Navy logistical support at the port of Duqm and that the two countries signed a crucial MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) regarding defence in 2021. India and Oman participate in combined tri-service drills. It is anticipated to be a key factor in ensuring that New Delhi continues to play the role of a provider of internet security in the Western Indian Ocean Region, where China has started a plan to increase its strategic footprint.

An MoU was signed in 2021 between the Indian Navy and the Royal Navy of Oman to share information about white shipping. Information exchange regarding merchant shipping traffic is made possible by the MoU.

The highest level of defence cooperation between India and Oman is represented by the Joint Military Cooperation Committee (JMCC). It is anticipated that it will convene annually but has not been recognised since 2018. Notably, Oman is the only country in the Gulf region with which the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force conduct all three exercises.

Al Najah is the name of the joint army exercise between the two countries. Eastern Bridge and Naseem-al-Bahr are the names of the joint aviation and naval exercises.

The two countries have very strong defence training ties since the Omani military regularly sends troops to India for professional and high command level training. The Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), in which Oman takes part extensively, is another event.

All three Omani service commanders and the secretary general of defence visited India in exchange over the past few years, as did the Indian defence secretary, chief of naval staff, and chief of army staff (COAS).


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