What gaining access to Omani port Duqm means to India
India has been given access to the key port of Duqm in Oman for military use and logistic support. Getting access was one of the key highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Oman.
Experts seen the development at Duqm as a major one and would give access to India for maintenance of Indian military vessels. What is more interesting is that the port is also located close to the Chabahar port in Iran.
The development is an important one and would also help India counter Chinese dominance in the region.
India's presence in Duqm is crucial as it would be able to checkmate China which takes over Gwadar in Pakistan. India can cut China off at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman. In addition to this India's Navy would be logistically better equipped to counter China's presence at Dijbouti as well.
India'a activities in Duqm have seen a rise in recent times. India had in September last year deployed an attack submarine to this port. India's naval units were on a month long deployment with the aim of enhance cooperation and surveillance.
In addition to this India also gains from the presence of a special economic zone at the Port of Duqm. There is an estimated 1.8 billion dollar investment being made by Indian companies.
The joint statement issued during Modi's visit said that the Indian side thanked Oman for facilitating operational visits by Indian Naval ships and aircraft as well as Indian Air Force aircraft to various ports and airports. "Recognising their common responsibility towards promoting regional peace and security, the two sides underlined the importance of further cementing bilateral strategic engagement, especially in the areas of security and defence," the statement also read.
Further the statement also said that the two sides expressed satisfaction at the ongoing bilateral security collaboration in the fields of counter-terrorism, information-sharing and capacity building. Both countries also agreed to provide further impetus to the robust defence relations including through regular joint exercises by the three defence forces, training of Nacy, Air and Army officials, as also cooperation in the area of coastal defence and through participation in defence exhibitions.