India conducts first ever naval exercise with Saudi Arabia

India has announced it is to conduct a first-ever naval exercise with Saudi Arabia next March, as part of deepening maritime strength in the western Indian Ocean. The Western Indian Ocean constitutes highly sensitive shipping routes such as the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the Persian Gulf.

The two countries will hold their first-ever joint naval exercises in the first week of March 2020, Indian officials said after the conclusion of a two-day visit to Riyadh by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Saudi Arabia is keen on collaborating with India in the Red Sea or the Indian Ocean at large,” an official added.