Tenth anniversary of IONS celebrated at Port Sultan Qaboos

Muscat - 

The tenth anniversary of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) was held at a ceremony conducted at Port Sultan Qaboos (PSQ) on Thursday.

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The event was held under the auspices of Nasser bin Hamoud al Kindi, secretary general of Royal Court Affairs; Sanjay Mitra, defence secretary of India; Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, flag officer commanding-in-chief, India’s Southern Naval Command; Rear Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis al Ra’eesi, commander of Royal Navy of Oman (RNO), and senior officials of Sultan’s Armed Forces and Oman’s Ministry of Defence.

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As part of the celebrations, two Indian Navy tall ships - the INS Tarangini and the INS Sudarshini - sailed with the Royal Yacht Zeinat al Bahar in a unique ‘tall ship sail-together’ from Kochi to Muscat to retrace the ancient maritime and spice routes and arrived at PSQ on Thursday.

The IONS event held under the aegis of the Indian Navy in February 14, 2008, aimed to revive old maritime and spice routes between Malabar and Arabian Gulf coasts. IONS is an annual event that includes 32 coastal countries of the Indian Ocean Rim including Oman.

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Addressing the gathering at PSQ, H E Munu Mahawar, India’s Ambassador to Oman, said, “This year, IONS completed a decade of working together productively and relentlessly for maritime security in the region. To celebrate the occasion, the Indian Navy hosted a commemorative seminar in Kochi on November 13 and 14.

“Sailing together, INS Tarangini, INS Sudarshini and Zeinat al Bahar retraced the ancient maritime trade route from the Malabar Coast to the Gulf. Crew members of eight nationalities were on board these tall ships. They are India, Oman, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Maldives, Sri Lanka and the UK. We are also happy to welcome INS Sujata to Muscat which was escorting these vessels.”

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He added, “India remains committed to work closely with all its friends and partners for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region. India and Oman are linked by history, geography and culture. We are maritime neighbours and our trade linkages span over 5,000 years.”

On the occasion, Vice Admiral Chawla said, “We eagerly look forward to doing more such events. India and Oman are connected via the seas.”

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