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Parrikar's official visit to Oman, UAE faces delay; postponed to 20 May

New Delhi: The proposed official trip of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to UAE on Tuesday night has been delayed due to certain scheduling issues and he will now travel to Oman on 20 May and then to the Emirates.

Defence sources said Parrikar will first travel to Oman where he will hold talks with the country's top leadership.

He will then visit UAE on 22-23 May, they said.

Parrikar would be the first Indian Defence Minister to travel to UAE.

Parrikar's visit to the country comes just ahead of an air exercise being held between the air force of the two countries.

Indian fighter planes will stop by in UAE on the way back from the Red Flag air exercise in the US.

 Parrikars official visit to Oman, UAE faces delay; postponed to 20 May

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. AFP

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi's visit in 2015, India and UAE had decided to establish a strategic
security dialogue and boost defence ties besides resolving to work together in counter-terrorism operations, combating money laundering, drug trafficking and trans-national crimes.

The two sides had agreed to strengthen defence relations, including through regular exercises and training of naval,
air, land and special forces, besides cooperation in coastal defence.

The UAE had also said it will cooperate in manufacture of defence equipment in India.

Ahead of Parrikar's visit, a flotilla of three warships had reached Dubai on 7 May to demonstrate India's commitment to maritime relations with countries in the Gulf region.

He will visit Oman, considered to be closest to India among the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), on 20 May.

Oman had signed a military protocol with India in 1972, which led to a three-year deputation of Indian Navy personnel
to man Oman's Navy in 1973.

An MoU on defence cooperation was also signed between India and Oman in 2005.

Areas of cooperation include joint military exercises, military training and IT, educational courses and exchange of
observers and formal visits.

India had trained 150 Omani military personnel in 2014-15.

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Updated Date: May 17, 2016 19:46:14 IST

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