India and Saudi Arabia have conducted their first-ever naval exercise, in reflection of their growing defence and military cooperation.
Indian Navy’s guided-missile destroyer INS Kochi participated in the ‘Al-Mohed Al-Hindi 2021’ exercise. The warship went to Saudi Arabia after carrying out a naval exercise with the UAE Navy off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
The exercise is taking place amid rising tension in the Gulf region after a drone attack on a merchant tanker off Oman killed a British national and a Romanian citizen recently. The UK and the US pointed fingers at Iran for the attack on MV Mercer Street, operated by an Israeli-owned firm. Tehran has already rejected the charges.
In December last year, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia in a first-ever visit by a head of the Indian Army to the two important Gulf countries.