INS Kesari arrives at the port of Moroni, Comoros Photograph:( WION )
Interestingly, the ship docked on the day when Chinese foreign minister (FM) Wang Yi was in Comoros
Indian Naval Ship Kesari arrived at the port of Moroni, Comoros on Friday to extend technical assistance to the Comorian Coast Guard.
The visit came in response to the request made by the Chief of Comorian Coast Guard Commander Moudjib Rahmane Adane to the Indian Navy during his visit to India in November last year to participate in the Goa Maritime Conclave.
The request was to provide technical assistance in repairing a grounded patrol vessel P002-M' kombozi.
A release by Indian mission to Antananarivo, which is also concurrently accredited to Comoros, said," India has always been a reliable responder to the requests made by Comoros", adding, "Visit of INS Kesari reflects India’s commitment to work together with Comoros, its maritime neighbour and partner in the Indian Ocean Region."
India remains committed to further strengthening its development partnership with Comoros that aligns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR that stands for Security And Growth for All in the Indian Ocean Region, the release stated.
Interestingly, the ship docked on the day when Chinese foreign minister (FM) Wang Yi was in the country.
The Chinese FM is on a visit to Africa and had earlier visited Ethiopia and Kenya. The visit to Comoros comes even as Beijing has been trying to increase its presence and engagement in the Indian Ocean and the African continent.
Comoros is strategically located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean Region, between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique.
This is not the first time that INS Kesari docked in Comoros.
In June 2020, the Indian Naval Ship had supplied a consignment of COVID-19 related essential medicines from India. Arrived on board were a 14-member Indian Medical Assistance Team to work with the Comorian health authorities in dealing with the pandemic and dengue fever.
Other than INS Kesari, March 2021 saw Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa delivering 1000 metric tonnes of rice to the island country.
There has been a spurt in high-level engagements between the two countries recently.
India's vice president Venkaiah Naidu visited the country in 2019 during which 6 MoUs were signed, including in Cooperation in the Field of Defence.
Comoros foreign minister Dhoihir Dhoulkamal visited India in February 2021 to participate in the Aero India 2021 and IOR Defence minister conclave in Bengaluru.
Last year, India trained 12 diplomats from the country during the first Special Course for diplomats from the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) organised by Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service (SSIFS), Delhi.