India and Saudi Arabia are going to hold a joint naval exercise in December in a bid to strengthen bilateral ties. According to a Ministry of External Affairs official, a Strategic Partnership Council will be announced between the two countries and will also include the foreign and commerce cabinet ministers.
In a media briefing leading up to the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Gulf Nation on October 29, TS Tiramurti, Secretary (ER), Ministry of External Affairs said, “This is the first joint naval exercise between the two navies. Two leaders Prime Minister Modi and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will have intensive discussions on security and economic issues.”
The two nations have together with other Indian Ocean Rim Countries to enhance maritime security in the region. The collaboration is expected to increase security and work towards a safer passage for international trade.
The two nations will also cooperate on other bilateral initiatives such as a joint production of spare parts as well as supply chain development under the Make In India programme and ‘Vision 2030.’ At the Fourth Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation in Riyadh this year, both nations had decided to engage in a “Comprehensive Security Dialogue” to enhance counter-terrorism measures, maritime security and real-time intelligence sharing.