New Delhi: In a bid to enhance bilateral engagements and engage in friendly naval exercises, four frontline ships of Indian Navy have been deployed to seas of East Africa and South Indian Ocean, marking stepped up maritime cooperation with the countries of the region.
Naval ships INS Mumbai, INS Talwar, INS Yamuna and INS Deepak that reached Mombasa on October 15 and leave tomorrow, have been part of the goodwill visit aimed at further bolstering bilateral ties and reinforcing cooperation in maritime security with Kenya and East Africa, officials in Ministry of External Affairs said.
They said the visit seeks to underscore India's peaceful presence and solidarity with the friendly countries of the East African region and to strengthen existing bonds of friendship.
India has maritime cooperation with countries of East Africa. India and Kenya also have maintained historical maritime trading links.
Involvement of Indian naval ships in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia since October 2008 has further strengthened bilateral engagement.
India and Kenya are also members of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS), a voluntary and cooperative initiative among 35 countries of the Indian Ocean Region which has served as a useful forum for sharing of information and pursuing cooperation on maritime issues.
Indian Navy has close and friendly ties with all navies of the region and has been regularly making goodwill port calls on them besides providing training and hydrographic support.