An important strategic location, the Duqm Port in Oman, saw the presence of the US in 2013-2014. Soon after, the UK too made a move to make its presence felt in the Duqm Port. In August 2016, the Duqm Port saw a massive investment worth USD 350 million by the Chinese in CTOZD project.
India has over the last one year started making a slow but steady progress towards making its mark in the Gulf region. India’s strategic reach towards the west and the position in the Indian Ocean region will also gain a massive advantage following an agreement to give access to the Indian Navy in the Duqm port in Oman. In January this year, India also signed an agreement with Seychelles for building ‘military infrastructure’ in the island of Assumption. India has a similar agreement with Mauritius for the Agalega Island.
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India and Djibouti are also likely to develop diplomatic ties enhancing India’s position in the Horn of Africa. The move came after Indian President Ram Nath Kovind’s first ever overseas trip to Djibouti.
India’s Presence at Duqm Port
India-Oman relations have seen long been strong in the political sphere with India benefitting greatly from the geo-strategic location. Oman has also been a ‘non-aligned’ nation which has despite being an active part of the Arab GCC, continued to maintain its close relations with Iran. The country is now also known as the ‘black sheep’ of Qatar. Building strong relations with Oman is crucial for India in order to engage better in the Gulf nations. It has to be remembered that it was the intervention of Oman that brought about the release of Father Tom from ISIS captivity in Yemen.
India’s presence at the Duqm port is now crucial in order to stop the Chinese that has made its mark in Gwadar port in Pakistan. Moreover, the Duqm port provides India with a logistics multiplier in its conquest to counter Chinese presence in Djibouti.