India-Oman Military Cooperation Agreement and Maritime Security Agreement
India and Oman have recently renewed the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on mutual military cooperation agreement and maritime security.
It is to be noted that Oman is a major strategic partner of India among the Gulf countries. In addition, it is also the chief negotiator of the following organizations, such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab League and the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA). Of these, India is only a member of IORA, India is not a member of other organizations.
India Oman Relations
- Relations between India and Oman have always been very cordial. Both countries are connected to the maritime boundary of the Arabian Sea, due to which historical sea trade has been taking place since ancient times. The royal families have also been closely associated with India from Oman. India’s Overseas Community has played a very important role in the creation of Oman, which has been accepted by the Government of Oman.
- Economic cooperation between these two countries is looked after by the Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and the Joint Business Council (JBC).
Major bilateral agreements related to defense sector between the two countries
- Oman is India’s oldest defense partner in West Asia. It has also been a partner in anti-piracy operations with India.
- India is setting up a defense production unit in Oman. At the same time, India has also provided a supply of rifles to Oman.
Major bi-annual bilateral exercise between India and Oman’s three military services
- Army exercise: Al Najah
- Air Force exercise: Eastern Bridge
- Naval exercise: Naseem-al-Bahr
- India imports a fifth of its oil imports from Oman, as Oman is located at the entrance of the Hormuz Strait and it is cheaper for India to get oil by this route.
- Oman has given berth rights to Indian ships, helping the Indian Navy carry out anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
- In the year 2018, India entered into an agreement with Oman to reach Oman’s Dukum port.
- India is strategically working with Oman in the western and southern parts of the Indian Ocean to expand its Indo-Pacific reach in the region; its main objective is to weaken China’s hold in the region
- China has established its base at the Port of Doraleh in Djibouti, as India is concerned with the acquisition of strategic assets by China in the region.
Source – PIB