ABU DHABI: Army Chief of Staff Gen. MM Naravane discussed bilateral defense cooperation and issues of mutual concern with UAE Land Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Saleh Mohammed Saleh Al Ameri, said on Friday the Indian Army on its historic visit to key Gulf nation.
General Naravane visited the United Arab Emirates from December 9-10.
The army chief will then travel to Saudi Arabia for the second leg of his tour from December 13-14. This is the first visit by an Indian Army chief to the two strategically important Gulf countries.
According to the Indian Army, General Naravane received an Honor Guard at the UAE Land Forces Headquarters on Wednesday and laid a wreath at Martyr’s Point.
“#COAS also interacted with Major General Saleh Mohammed Saleh Al Ameri, #Land Forces Commander and Personnel and discussed issues of mutual interest and defense cooperation,” the Indian Army Additional General Directorate of Public Information said in a tweet on Friday.
Said General Naravane also visited the Land Forces Institute, Infantry school and Armor School on Thursday.
The army chief’s visit to the UAE is aimed at further strengthening bilateral defense cooperation, he added.
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 for 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 weapons scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Ahead of its 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 be the First time an Indian army chief visits the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ”
General Naravane’s visit to the Gulf region comes days after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar’s trips to Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, during which he called the top leaders of the two countries.
In recent years, India’s ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have seen a major rebound.
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 in addition to agreeing to further deepen military and defense ties.