Indian warships make port calls in SE Asian nations
Kuala Lumpur: Four Indian front line warships on an operational deployment to the South China Sea and the Western Pacific have made a port call at Malaysia`s Port Klang, seeking to strengthen bilateral maritime ties.
The vessels including India`s newly inducted stealth frigate INS Satpura, along with Rajput class destroyer INS Ranvijay, corvette INS Kirch and replenishment vessel INS Shakti, collectively carrying more than 800 crew members, are led by Rear Admiral Ajit Kumar.
The battleships will be on a five-day visit to Malaysia.
Kumar said that he was looking forward to enhancing ties with the Malaysian armed forces.
He said a passage exercise (PASSEX) has been planned with the Malaysian Navy and added it would contribute towards furthering peace and maritime security in the region.
"The spectrum of this exercise encompasses both conventional war time drills and cooperative military action against unconventional threats in the maritime domain," he told reporters at Port Klang.
However, he said the most important exercise during the visit was to foster closer ties and friendship between Malaysia and India.
"There might be times when both countries may have to work together, hence such port calls would strengthen this purpose," he added.
The vessels will head to Vietnam next and then make a final port call to the Philippines.
Earlier, a deal signed by the Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Vietnam in October, 2012, to explore the oil and gas block in the disputed waters was a cause of tiff between India and China, with Beijing protesting as it lays claim over entire South China Sea.
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