India and Saudi Arabia will all hold their very first naval exercise to reflect their growing defense and military cooperation, officials said Tuesday.
The guided missile destroyer INS Kochi of the Indian Navy reached Saudi Arabia on Monday for exercise “Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021”. The warship flew to Saudi Arabia after conducting a naval exercise with the United Arab Emirates Navy off the coast of Abu Dhabi on Saturday, they said.
Port phase begins
The port phase of the exercise “Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021” began on Monday, while the sea-based exercises will take place on Wednesday. Upon arrival at the port of Jubail, the ship received a warm welcome from officials from the Saudi Royal Naval Forces.
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The exercise comes amid mounting tensions in the Gulf region after a British citizen and a Romanian citizen were killed in a drone attack on a commercial tanker off Oman a week ago. The UK and US pointed at Iran for the attack on MV Mercer Street operated by an Israeli company. Tehran has already denied the allegations.
In December of last year, Army Chief General MM Naravane visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia for a first visit by a chief of the Indian Army in the two important Gulf States.