By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The Indian embassy held a reception on Tuesday onboard the Indian Naval Ship TEG at Shuwaikh Port. In his speech, Ambassador of India to Kuwait Sibi George said, “This evening reception is taking place during the year when we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Kuwait, and when we celebrate Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav, the 75th year of India’s independence. This important ship visit reflects the growing bilateral partnership between both countries in all sectors, particularly in the defense cooperation field.” He stated that India and Kuwait enjoy a very traditional and vibrant relationship, adding that the long-standing dynamic partnership makes Kuwait, which is part of India’s extended neighborhood, a key partner in India’s economic progress, especially in energy security and healthcare.
“Despite the many difficulties and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our relationship continued to grow in recent years. You would recall the dispatch of the emergency medical team from India to Kuwait and then the supply of ‘Made in India’ Vaccines to Kuwait. We recall the supply of largest medical oxygen from Kuwait to India. In this context, I recall the visit of six Indian Naval Ships to Kuwait last year which further strengthened our bilateral cooperation,” Ambassador George noted.
He pointed out that the ship has been deployed extensively for numerous missions including for anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and has been providing maritime security in the region, affirming the Indian Navy’s commitment to establish a cooperative partnership with friendly nations of the Indian Ocean region and beyond to resolve maritime challenges.
Meanwhile, Brig General Hazza’ Al-Alati, Commander of Kuwait Navy, stated “Kuwait and India have a long history of a great relationship that began many years ago when our fathers and grandfathers were able to travel to India by using wooden boats to bring goods and supplies from India to Kuwait, which confirm how deep this friendship. Kuwait used the Indian currency (Rupee) as the legal tender in the country until 1961.”
He added “Kuwait navy always looking to increase the cooperation with the Indian navy. We have already started the discussions and coordination at a high level. Last year, I discussed with the former head of the Indian navy, Admiral Karambir some topics related to the cooperation between the two navies. I think there are many areas in which we can cooperate, such as exchange of experience in maritime fields, conducting bilateral exercises, and ships visit.” Alati revealed that the Kuwait navy will participate in the Milan exercise which will be carried out in India at the beginning of next year.
Meanwhile, Commanding officer of INS (TEG), Captain Kumar, said “We believe in common values that are underscored by mutual respect and shared understanding that the sea is a common resource of all humanity, and its openness is a vital necessity for the wellbeing of all nations.”
“We are privileged to visit this beautiful port in Kuwait, one that has been due for some time. For most of us on this ship, this is the first visit to Kuwait, and we have been enthralled by the warmth and hospitality of the people. We are here for a short duration and yet most of us will carry lifetime memories of the visit,” he added.
Indian Naval Ship INS TEG has been deployed extensively for numerous missions including anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, providing maritime security in the seas of India’s maritime partner nations, and exercises with other regional navies. “INS TEG’s visit to Kuwait will strengthen the deep-rooted, multi-faceted friendly ties and growing cooperation between the Republic of India and the State of Kuwait,” the Indian embassy said in a statement.