Saudi-Indian ties renewed onboard Tarangini

Hemant Kotalwar
Hemant Kotalwar

Hemant Kotalwar, charge d’affaires at the Indian Embassy, speaks on board INS Tarangini at Jeddah Islamic Port on Saturday. Also seen are Consul General B.S. Mubarak, 2nd left, INS Tarangini Commanding Officer Capt. Gaurav Gautam, right, and Defense Attache Col. Gurpal Singh.

Relations between India and Saudi Arabia are going from strength to strength, said Hemant Kotalwar, charge d’affaires at the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.

He was speaking at a press conference on board the Indian Navy ship, Tarangini, which is on a good will visit to Saudi Arabia and is docked at Jeddah Islamic Port.

Among those who spoke at the press conference were Consul General B.S. Mubarak, INS Tarangini Commanding Officer Capt. Gaurav Gautam and Defense Attache Col. Gurpal Singh.

“India has a special connection with Saudi Arabia because of the large population of Indian expats,” said Kotalwar. The current bilateral trade is almost $50 billion.

According to Mubarak, mutual ties had received a major boost since King Salman’s visit to New Delhi last year.

According to the diplomats, India is particularly indebted to King Salman for the support and cooperation rendered during the recent evacuation of more than 4,800 Indian nationals and another 1,700 foreign nationals of various countries from Yemen.

“There is growing cooperation between the navies of the two countries,” said Kotalwar. “Saudi officers are undergoing training courses in India. At the same time, Indian military officers are undertaking regular tours to Saudi Arabia in their quest for shared learning.”

Capt. Gautam said that INS Tarangini is Indian Navy’s first sail training ship. It was built in Goa and was commissioned on Nov. 11, 1997. “The primary role of the ship is to foster time-honored virtues of courage, camaraderie, endurance and esprit decorps in officer cadets embarking onboard,” he said.

INS Tarangini departed Kochi on March 27, 2015, and passed by Salalah (Oman) before reaching Jeddah Islamic Port on May 29. From Jeddah, the ship will make port calls at Alexandria (Egypt), Valetta (Malta), Cadiz (Spain), Plymouth (UK), Kristiansand (Norway), Aalborg (Denmark), Rostock (Germany), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Le Havre (France), Lisbon (Portugal), Valetta (Malta), Port Said (Egypt), Djibouti, Muscat and will arrive in Kochi on Dec. 3, 2015.

Royal Saudi Navy officers and men headed by Commodore Abdul Rahman Al-Shehri, director of operations department, Western Fleet, also visited the ship.

A reception was hosted on board by the commander of the ship in honor of the guests.


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