Indian navy ships, Tabar and Deepak, two of the four on a month-long deployment in the Gulf, reached Kuwait on Sunday on a four-day visit, a defence statement said. During their stay till Wednesday, Tabar, a Talwar-class frigate, and Deepak, a tanker, will have professional interactions for enhancing co-operation and sharing nuances of naval operations including disaster management and combating maritime threats of terrorism and piracy.
"Apart from professional interactions, sports and social engagements are also planned, which are aimed at enhancing co-operation and understanding between the (Indian and Kuwaiti) navies," the statement said.
INS Delhi, a guided missile destroyer, and Trishul, also a Talwar-class frigate, are the other two ships in the Gulf to enhance bilateral ties and engage in naval exercises with friendly regional navies. The statement added that Indian Navy has "close and friendly ties with all navies in the Gulf" and has been regularly exercising with many of them. It also provides training and hydrographic support to several navies in the region.
"The involvement of Indian Naval ships in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia since October 2008 has further strengthened bilateral ties and interaction with navies in the region," it said. The statement also said that "growing defence cooperation" between India and Kuwait is evident by the increased high level military visits, cross training of naval officers and port visits by naval ships.
India and Kuwait are also members of Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a voluntary and co-operative initiative between 35 countries of the Indian Ocean Region, which has served as an ideal forum for sharing of information and cooperation on maritime issues.
"The current visit seeks to underscore India's peaceful presence and solidarity with friendly countries in the Gulf and strengthen the existing bonds of friendship between India and Kuwait," it added.