Iranian Navy commander invites Qatar to join Indian Ocean drill 

December 13, 2019 - 18:21

TEHRAN - The Iranian Navy commander has invited the Qatari Navy to join the joint military exercises by the navies of the Indian Ocean littoral states as an observer. 

Mohammad Hossein Khanzadi made the proposal in a meeting with his Qatari counterpart in Doha on Wednesday.

“Iran Navy has invited the Qatari Navy to be an observer member during a joint drill which is supposed to be staged in the northern part of the Indian Ocean by mid-March,” Khanzadi stated.

The Iranian Navy is currently the president of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) summit.

“Regarding high-level training capacities, the Iranian Navy is ready to share its experiences with the Qatari Navy in line with upgrading Qatari officers’ training level,” the rear admiral said in the meeting. 

The Qatari navy commander, for his part, welcomed as valuable a plan according to which his country’s warships can visit Iranian ports for exchanging experiences. 

The two commanders further conferred on renewal of memorandum of understanding between their forces.  

The IONS is a voluntary initiative that seeks to increase maritime cooperation among navies of the littoral states of the Indian Ocean Region by providing an open and inclusive forum for discussion of regionally relevant maritime issues.

There are 32 navies at the IONS - 23 members and 9 observers. The member states include Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Australia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Singapore.

MJ/PA

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