Saudi, Indian naval exercise heralds new era in ties

Saudi, Indian naval exercise heralds new era in ties
1 / 3
Over the years, the ship has trained more than 4,000 officers including those from friendly foreign countries, visited 27 countries and has been a beacon of maritime diplomacy and foreign cooperation. (Supplied)
Saudi, Indian naval exercise heralds new era in ties
2 / 3
Over the years, the ship has trained more than 4,000 officers including those from friendly foreign countries, visited 27 countries and has been a beacon of maritime diplomacy and foreign cooperation. (Supplied)
Saudi, Indian naval exercise heralds new era in ties
3 / 3
Over the years, the ship has trained more than 4,000 officers including those from friendly foreign countries, visited 27 countries and has been a beacon of maritime diplomacy and foreign cooperation. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 07 May 2022

Saudi, Indian naval exercise heralds new era in ties

Saudi, Indian naval exercise heralds new era in ties
  • The exercise comes amid growing defense ties between India and Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Vessels from the First Training Squadron of the Indian Navy — INS Tir and INS Sujata along with Indian Coast Guard ship Sarathi — arrived on Thursday at Jeddah port for a training exchange.

The exercise comes amid growing defense ties between India and Saudi Arabia.

The ships were also joined by INS Tarangini, one of the few sail training ships in the world, on Friday.

The arrival of the ships at Jeddah heralds a new chapter in bilateral defense ties after the first-ever joint naval exercise between India and the Kingdom, “Al-Mohed Al-Hind,” took place last year.

The squadron is commanded by Capt. Aftab Ahmed Khan, senior officer of the First Training Squadron and commanding officer of INS Tir.

Upon arrival at the Jeddah port, the ships were given a warm welcome by officials from the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Border Guards and Indian Embassy. 




Over the years, the ship has trained more than 4,000 officers including those from friendly foreign countries, visited 27 countries and has been a beacon of maritime diplomacy and foreign cooperation. (Supplied)

In February this year, a Royal Saudi Naval Forces delegation took part in the “Milan 2022” multi-national exercise that saw delegations from 40 countries train on India’s eastern shore.

At a Friday evening reception on INR Tir, Indian Charge d'Affaires N. Ram Prasad said the arrival of the Indian naval ships bore testimony to the growing defense ties between India and Saudi Arabia.

"The past few years have seen a tremendous growth in our bilateral relations, be it energy, trade, infrastructure development, medical research, people to people exchanges, defense cooperation and security."

India is Saudi Arabia's second largest trading partner with trade approaching $40 billion, he said.

"As we celebrate 75 years of India-Saudi Arabia diplomatic relations, we can look back with pride at the development of brotherly ties over the past several decades," said Prasad. 




Over the years, the ship has trained more than 4,000 officers including those from friendly foreign countries, visited 27 countries and has been a beacon of maritime diplomacy and foreign cooperation. (Supplied)

Capt. Aftab welcomed officers of the Saudi naval forces as well as the diplomatic community and said it was a moment of pride to be in Jeddah. "We are committed to maritime security of our friendly nations," he said, and wished everyone Eid greetings.

He thanked Indian Defense Attache Col. G.S. Grewal and the Indian Missions in Riyadh and Jeddah for the grand welcome accorded to the ships.

INS Tir (meaning arrow) is the first dedicated cadet training ship to be built by Mazagon Dock Ltd. in Mumbai, and was commissioned on Feb. 21, 1986. It is the senior ship of the First Training Squadron of the Southern Naval Command and is equipped with all modern training amenities.

Over the years, the ship has trained more than 4,000 officers including those from friendly foreign countries, visited 27 countries and has been a beacon of maritime diplomacy and foreign cooperation.

The ship can carry up to 293 people on board, though her typical deployment is with 20 instructors and 120 cadets. Equipped with state-of-the-art training infrastructure, and communication and gunnery suite, the ship carries a helicopter and has also taken part in anti-piracy missions in the past.

INS Sujata is an indigenously built Sukanya-class offshore patrol vessel of the Indian Navy commissioned on Nov. 3, 1993. The ship undertakes fleet support operations, humanitarian assistance missions, offshore patrolling, ocean surveillance and escort duties. A cadet training ship for the past nine years, officer cadets are exposed to practical aspects of navigation and seamanship on the vessel before moving on to complex assignments.

The Indian Coast Guard ship Sarathi (meaning charioteer) is the third in a series of six offshore patrol vessels designed and built domestically by Goa Shipyard Ltd. Commissioned on Sept. 9, 2016, the 105-meter ship is fitted with state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment, sensors and machineries.

Its features include 30 millimeter CRN-91 naval gun, Integrated Bridge System, Integrated Machinery Control System, Power Management System and High-Power External Fire Fighting System.

The ship is designed to carry one twin-engine light helicopter and five high-speed boats, including two quick reaction inflatable boats for swift boarding operations, search and rescue, law enforcement and maritime patrols. The ship is also capable of carrying pollution response equipment to contain oil spills at sea.


Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’

Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’
Updated 19 May 2022

Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’

Saudi Arabia tells UN meeting on food security ‘global cooperation is vital’
  • Deputy Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Khuraiji said the KSA’s foreign policy attaches great importance to enhancing security and stability

RIYADH: A Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs official confirmed Wednesday that the Kingdom had taken crucial steps to enhance food security, put forward strategies to promote food growth and face climate change and water scarcity. 

Waleed Al-Khuraiji, Saudi deputy minister of foreign affairs, said these measures contributed to improving food security indicators in the Kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the Global Food Security Call to Action meeting at the United Nations on Wednesday, Al-Khuraiji said that the food security challenge proves that sustainable recovery depends on international cooperation.

He said despite progress in the development process, achieving the 2030 SDG (social development goals) had become extremely difficult, as global expectations and indicators show a deviation in the path towards achieving the second goal of the program, which includes the eradication of hunger.

“Among the global health challenges are the spread of pandemics, as the spread of the COVID-19 revealed to us the fragility of the international system in combating a virus that is not visible to the naked eye, which led to severe consequences that affected societies and economies,” Al-Khuraiji said, adding  that this affected people’s lives, their livelihood and declining economic indicators.

He said Saudi Arabia led a global response to the pandemic that accompanied the Kingdom’s G20 presidency, as it supported global efforts to confront this pandemic with $500 million, in addition to providing $300 million to help countries’ efforts to address the pandemic.

“The Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030 focused within sustainable development efforts on building a sustainable agricultural sector, strengthening sectors that support food systems, developing systems and improving agricultural productivity, and worked to strengthen research and innovation capabilities to ensure sustainable progress in food security,” Al-Khuraiji said.

In this regard, he said Saudi Arabia presented crucial initiatives to the region and the world, and had created a road map for facing environmental challenges. These intuitive include the Saudi Green Initiative the Middle East Green Initiative, and the circular carbon economy initiative.

Al-Khuraiji said the  Kingdom’s foreign policy attached great importance to enhancing security and stability, supporting dialogue and peaceful solutions, and providing conditions that support development and achieve people’s aspirations for a better tomorrow, weather in the Middle East or the world.

He added Saudi Arabia had always reiterated its commitment to helping the disadvantaged and countries hit by natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

“The Kingdom is the largest donor of humanitarian and development aid at the Arab and Islamic levels, and is one of the top three donors at the international level,” he said. 


Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation

Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation
Updated 19 May 2022

Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation

Saudi-US defense delegations review ties, discuss future cooperation
  • Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid says the meeting was organized upon Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives

RIYADH: Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s deputy minister of defense, on Wednesday met the US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The pair reviewed the Saudi-US partnership, and ongoing and future strategic military and defense cooperation between the Kingdom and US.

Prince Khalid expressed Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for the close cooperation between the two countries' defense bodies to achieve the two sides’ common interests and enhance security and peace regionally and internationally.

 

 

He also said that the meeting was organized based on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s directives.

Prince Khalid and US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl, then, co-headed the Saudi-US joint strategic planning committee meeting.

The Saudi and US defense delegations join a photo session after their meeting in Washington on May 18, 2022. (SPA)

The meeting discussed regional and international developments, and a number of issues on defending common interests and global security and stability.

The meeting was attended by Gen. Fayyadh bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, Saudi Chief of General Staff, and other Saudi and US senior officials.


Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia
Updated 18 May 2022

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia

Kahila horse championship to kick off May 25 in Saudi Arabia
  • The event will highlight the significance of the ancient sport and the Kingdom’s efforts to advance it through local and international forums

RIYADH: An international event to celebrate the history of purebred Arabian horses is set to get underway in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al-Faisal, chairman of the Equestrian Authority and the Horse Racing Club, will on May 25 patronize the launch of the second edition of the five day Kahila championship meeting.

Organized by the King Abdulaziz center for purebred Arabian horses, the event will be staged at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Convention Center and will highlight the significance of the ancient sport and the Kingdom’s efforts to advance it through local and international forums.


73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls
Updated 18 May 2022

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls

73 held after Saudi patrols intercept illicit drug hauls
  • The authorities thwarted attempts to smuggle 682 kilograms of hashish, 62.3 tons of khat and 194,300 amphetamine tablets

RIYADH: Saudi authorities arrested 73 people after border patrols foiled massive drug smuggling attempts in several regions of the Kingdom.

Col. Misfir Al-Qarini, spokesman for the General Directorate of Border Guard, said that land patrols in the Jazan, Najran, Asir and Tabuk regions thwarted attempts to smuggle 682 kilograms of hashish, 62.3 tons of khat and 194,300 amphetamine tablets.

The seized drugs were handed over to authorities and legal steps taken against those detained, he added.

Among the alleged violators were 20 Saudi citizens, 26 Ethiopians, 23 Yemenis, two Pakistanis, one Sudanese and one Eritrean. 


Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight
Updated 18 May 2022

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight

Taif Rose Festival is an intense visual and olfactory delight
  • The festival has 13 sections featuring 50 live performances and folkloric dances from across the Kingdom

 

JEDDAH: At this time every year the mountainous city of Taif is adorned with the hues of bright pink roses that produce some of the world’s most alluring perfumes and oils.

The Taif Rose Festival is the modern iteration of a tradition of cultivation and harvesting that has taken place in this region over the past nine centuries.

It was launched on May 6 at Al-Rudaf Park in the southern part of the city, and is open from 4 p.m. to 12 midnight.

The Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with Taif Municipality and under the patronage of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, have organized the festival for two years in a row.

However, it has been running for the past 17 years, Arab News was told by Ahmad Al-Joaid, a tour guide from Taif who has been operating for 15 years in the field.

Al-Joaid said: “A number of new activities are added to the festival every year. Al-Rudaf Park is an area of over half-a-million square meters … a theater has also been created for the festival … Concerts (are) also a new addition.”

The ministry tweeted on its account @MoC_Engage: “Between the beauty of roses and the creativity of art, we welcome you to Taif roses festival.”

The festival has 13 sections featuring 50 live performances and folkloric dances from across the Kingdom in the park, and music shows by male and female artists.

The organizers have set up a workshop aimed at young people that provides information on how to become involved in the perfume-making industry.

There is also an exhibition titled “Claude Monet,” named after the French painter and founder of impressionism, who portrayed nature with such startling creativity. Several of Monet’s renditions are on display.

The festival also provides an opportunity for aspiring Saudi artists to display their paintings at “Cultural Street,” and drawings and other artwork at “Drawing Exhibit.” 

Many families have set up booths to sell byproducts of Taif’s produce such as rose water, perfumes, deodorants, soaps, body and skincare products, food and sweets.

The festival is also a great place for social media enthusiasts because it has several picturesque backdrops for photographs such as the Rose Dome, which contains a giant painting made of natural roses, the largest basket of the flowers in the city, and models and gates decorated with the produce.

Visitors can also view and listen to various rare birds.

Taif roses have historic, economic and religious importance. The oil is used to perfume the walls of the Kaaba, which is also washed twice annually with its scented water.

The region has more than 2,000 flower farms producing over 200 million roses every season.

Residents of Makkah and Jeddah visit Taif regularly in summer. “People can do plenty of things in Taif in addition to visiting the festival during their one-day visit …  (including) museums, local markets, rose factories in Al-Shafa and Al-Hada, the cable car, strawberry farm, zoo, and historical castles,” the tour guide said.