Army chief Gen. Naravane holds talks with the commander of the Royal Land Forces of Saudi Arabia on defense cooperation
Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane on Sunday discussed bilateral defense cooperation issues with Royal Saudi Arabian Land Forces Commander General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutir during his historic visit to the Gulf Kingdom. .
General Naravane, who arrived in Saudi Arabia on the second leg of his two-nation visit that included the United Arab Emirates, is the first Indian army chief to travel to the two strategically important Gulf countries.
“COAS discussed bilateral defense cooperation issues with General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutir, commander of the Royal Land Forces of Saudi Arabia,” the Indian Army’s Additional General Directorate of Public Information said in a tweet on Sunday.
He also received a Guard of Honor at the headquarters of the Royal Land Forces of Saudi Arabia.
Previously, General Naravane visited the United Arab Emirates where he discussed bilateral defense cooperation and issues of mutual interest with the United Arab Emirates Land Forces Commander, Major General Saleh Mohammed Saleh Al Ameri.
His visit is seen as a reflection of India’s growing strategic ties with the two countries and is expected to open even more new avenues of cooperation in the field of defense and security.
General Naravane’s visit comes amid accelerating developments in the Gulf region, including the normalization of Israel’s relations with several Arab countries, as well as the situation stemming from the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Ahead of his visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the Army said in a statement in New Delhi that “during the visit, it will meet with its counterparts and senior military leaders from these countries. The visit is historic in the sense that it will be the first time that an Indian Army chief has visited the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “General Naravane’s visit to the Gulf region comes days after the trips of the Foreign Minister S Jaishankar to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, during which he called on the top leaders of the two countries.
In recent years, India’s ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have seen a significant upswing. Last month, the army chief traveled to Nepal on a three-day visit that had an important diplomatic tone.
In October, General Naravane traveled to Myanmar together with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on a crucial visit during which India decided to supply an attack submarine to the Myanmar Navy as well as agreeing to further deepen military ties and defense.