Indian delegation explores defense ties with Saudi Arabia

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Indian delegation explores defense ties with Kingdom - Arab News

    By GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN | ARAB NEWS

    Published: Oct 5, 2011 21:03 Updated: Oct 5, 2011 21:07

    RIYADH: A defense delegation from India, which wrapped up its visit to the Kingdom Wednesday, expressed keen interest to build strong bilateral defense ties based on the new strategic realities of Asia and the changing political alliances in the Middle East. “New Delhi, a close ally of Riyadh, looks forward to deepening defense cooperation with Saudi Arabia,” said Manohar Ram, deputy chief of Indian mission, here Wednesday.

    Ram said that the 16-member delegation from the National Defense College (NDC) of India called on the senior Saudi officials in Riyadh, visited the local military facilities and discussed a range of issues of common concerns during their four-day stay in the Kingdom. The delegation, headed by Maj. Gen. Bal Krishna Sharma and comprising officers from a few other countries associated with the NDC, were on a study tour in the Kingdom.

    Referring to the objectives behind the NDC study tour, Ram said that this trip was designed to promote closer relations between India and Saudi Arabia. In the past few years, India enhanced its military ties with the Gulf states including Saudi Arabia. “We have exchanged visits of our service chiefs and naval ships, and Saudi officers have participated in our training programs, including at the prestigious NDC,” he added.

    He said that India had no defense agreement with Saudi Arabia. “However, our defense ties have diversified and become more substantial since the visit of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to India,” said the diplomat. Saudi Arabia is also part of the Indian Ocean Naval initiative, which seeks to increase maritime cooperation bilaterally as well as among the navies of the world.

    The NDC, located in New Delhi, is an institution of higher learning of the defense forces of India and is the only military institution that imparts knowledge on all aspects of national security and strategy. It also offers training to security personnel from other countries.

    The Indian Armed Forces are one of the world’s largest military forces, with roughly 1.32 million active standing army and 2.14 million reserve forces, thus giving India the third-largest active troops in the world. India is the world’s largest arms importer accounting for nine percent of all global imports. Its defense expenditure will be around US$112 billion by 2016.
     
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  3. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Yeah a lot has moved over the last few years in Indo Saudi relations. From them covering our oil supply to other trade ties and now stepping towards military ties. Good going.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Apart from oil, what are the trade or economic connection India has with the Saudis?

    What are the defence/ strategic ties India is seeking from a close Pakistani ally?
     
  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Sir, Saudi Pak relations had been cooling over a period.

    Bilateral investment between india and Saudis is on a rise. MMS's visit last year was again to expand trade and Investment.

    Military ties could include joint exercises, training. may be india could sell some boats. Saudi gets all it's stuff from the west but it could buy some from india in the future.
     
  6. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    How will India juggle between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, not to mention Israel.
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    When Israel can reconcile with Egypt and Saudis, why should India have any problem juggling between those countries.
    The politicians here have to stop linking India's Muslim population with the Arab world and make policies based on that for starters. We didn't have overt relations with Israel on that basis for 50 years. See what has happened since.
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Common and persuasive factor - the USA.

    Both agreed because they got heavy assistance from the USA.

    Pakistan budget required Saudi bailout recently when a Pakistan Minister went and begged it out of them.
     
  9. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Just as an overview;

    Indian Defence diplomacy in the GCC has been improving considerably with both sides moving forward on this. While India already has advanced relations with Oman, UAE and Qatar primarily. Saudi Arabia being a G20 member is ofcourse the main pillar of the GCC itself.

    The Saudis had already opposed Pakistani actions in the Kargil war and took India's side asking Pakistani troops to withdraw to the LoC. Post 9/11, there was again bilateral communication and co-operation.
    However, the first major opening to the Saudis and the GCC in general was actually done under the NDA when Jaswant Singh. Something that the BJP and Jaswant Singh in particular doesn't get enough credit for. Jaswant Singh was able to use his personal chemistry and being a person of the desert to establish a rapport with the Saudi establishment. He even ended up being gifted two thorough=bred Arabian horses personally on the then Crown Prince Abdullah's ranch.


    Ofcourse, Manmohan Singh and UPA were able to build on the foundations and after a decade we had Manmohan Singh visit Saudi Arabia where important security and extradition treaties were signed.

    A recent IDSA seminar on India-GCC defence diplomacy also had some interesting tidbits
     

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