By Arab News
Saudi Arabia and India launched joint military naval exercises in the Arabian Gulf, the Kingdom’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.
The Royal Saudi Naval Forces were represented by the Eastern Fleet for the maneuvers held at the King Abdul Aziz Naval Base in Jubail.
The exercise aimed to unify concepts, exchange expertise and develop command, control and communications during joint operations to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime security in the Arabian Gulf, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Eastern Fleet commander Vice Admiral Majed Al-Qahtani said the exercise is the first of its kind between the Saudi and Indian navies, and will enhance military cooperation in naval operations.
The Indian embassy in Riyadh said the maneuvers herald a new chapter in bilateral defense ties.
The Indian navy on Saturday concluded a mixed drill with the UAE off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
The exercises come during heightened tensions in the Arabian Gulf following a drone attack on the MV Mercer Street tanker near Oman that killed two people.