Kuwait-India defense cooperation part of a shared vision, says envoy

By Sajeev K Peter

KUWAIT: Defense cooperation between India and Kuwait constitutes a significant element of their shared strategic vision for the region and bilateral defense engagements between the countries have seen a noticeable upswing in the recent past with an increased frequency of Indian naval ships’ visits facilitated with the active support of Kuwait, said Indian Ambassador Dr Adarsh Swaika on Monday. Addressing a reception on board Indian naval ship Visakhapatnam, the ambassador said, the presence of the Western Fleet Commander onboard the ship demonstrates the importance we attach to the growing defense ties between India and Kuwait.

Tracing the maritime history, he explained how dhows and ships have been the main driver of the strong and intense people-to-people ties between the two countries. Defense Undersecretary Dr Abdullah Meshal Mubarak Al-Sabah attended the event as the chief guest. Western Fleet Commander of Indian Navy Rear Admiral Vineet McCarty, Captain Ashok Rao, top Kuwaiti naval officials, officers and crew members of INS Vishakhapatnam, resident ambassadors, diplomats and Indian diaspora members were also present at the reception. “India and Kuwait are natural allies and true partners.

And this could be seen in our multi-faceted bilateral relations over the years, be it energy, trade, infrastructure development, medical cooperation, or defense cooperation and security. The large and vibrant Indian community in Kuwait is a manifestation of our close people-to-people linkages,” the ambassador said in his address. “Not only did our Kuwaitis friends in the 19th and early 20th century go to India on dhows and boats with Arabian horses, pearls and dates and brought back textiles, timber, spices etc, they laid the foundation of our strong bilateral ties,” he recalled.

On the occasion, the ambassador expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude to the leadership, the government and the people of Kuwait for their steadfast commitment to the close relations between India and Kuwait. Rear Admiral Vineet McCarty said in his address that the flagship INS Visakhapatnam is the most modern ship and is the symbol of the self-reliance and forward-looking confident India. “The flagship of the Western Fleet, the ‘sword arm’ of Indian Navy, is here to celebrate the centuries-old friendship and maritime connect with the state of Kuwait and also to reaffirm Indian Navy’s commitment to the maritime security of the region,” he said.

“We are conscious of our responsibility towards contributing to the maritime security of the region as well as strengthening our friendship with Kuwait. And this visit is particularly dedicated to that,” he pointed out. “We have very good understanding of what the visions we need to pursue and what our actions are going to be from here onwards,” he said. He also thanked the Kuwaiti authorities for supplying India with liquid oxygen when the country was battling the second wave of COVID pandemic. “The largest amount of liquid oxygen was provided by Kuwait and it was transported to India on Indian naval ships,” he added.

Speaking with Kuwait Times on the sidelines of the event, McCarty said the Indian naval officers had professional interactions and discussions of mutual interest with Kuwait naval forces during the last three-day of port of call in Kuwait. “These are ongoing discussions, and we will take them forward to the logical conclusion. We have discussed many things; there are generic as well as some particular issues, all pertaining to the relationship between and Indian navy and Kuwait navy. We would like to strengthen this relationship further,” he said. Indian Navy and Kuwait Navy jointly held a passing exercise on Tuesday before INS Visakhapatnam left the Kuwait harbor.

The post Kuwait-India defense cooperation part of a shared vision, says envoy appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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