The Indian Navy will now be able to access the facilities of Daqm port of Oman as PM Modi has signed a pact with Oman authorities which will give India a foothold to extend its neighbourhood in the Arabian Sea.
At Oman, PM Modi has signed a total of eight agreements and MoUs which will help India and Oman in developing better economic, security and defence and trade relationships. Among all these, the most significant agreement signed will provide access of Oman’s Daqm sea port to Indian Navy. The access permission was a part of the MoU between the defence ministries of India and Oman which covered the provisions of facilities for the visit of Indian military vessels to Duqm port in terms of services and the use of the dry-dock for maintenance.
This is particularly important for India because Daqm port will prove to be an entry point in West Asia and East Africa – a move that is all merry for India when China is continuously propagating its strategic assets in the Indian Ocean. While Daqm port can be reached merely in 40 minutes via aircraft from Mumbai, naval access of the port has been India’s interest due to the concentrating Chinese activities in the western part of the Indian Ocean Region besides setting up a military base in Djibouti. Also, Oman has been an old maritime power, strategically located between Indian subcontinent’s western coast and Africa’s eastern coast – connecting as well as separating two of the largest subcontinents.
Now that India has partnership with Oman, it is looking forward to French naval cooperation to gain strategic outreach to the western parts of Indian Ocean, side-by-side with China. Modi’s maiden visit includes an Indo-Omani joint statement issued at the end of Modi’s visit reflected growing maritime cooperation. “The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean regions, vital for the security and prosperity of both countries.” Also, another MoU between India and Oman was signed for Defence Studies and Analyses and Oman’s National Defense College.