The arrival of Indian Naval Ship (INS) Mysore at Hamad Port is a significant boost to the ongoing Qatar-India Year of Culture and the bilateral relations between the two countries. The warship, a destroyer, dropped anchor at the port on Wednesday.

“The ties between the two countries are strengthened further. The ship’s arrival speaks volumes about the fact,” defence attache Captain Kapil Kaushik told 'Gulf Times' during a visit to the ship on Thursday. The Indian Navy officer thanked Qatar for its keenness towards strengthening the relationship with India noting the country was visited by top Qatari officials during the past few years.

He also thanked the Indian ambassador P Kumaran, citing he is keen to encourage co-operation between the two countries in various sectors including defence. INS Mysore (D60) is the second ship of the Delhi-class guided missile destroyers. The ship, completely built in India, was commissioned into the Indian Navy on June 2, 1999. With advanced radars and sensors, the ship is equipped with latest cutting-edge technology in facing emergency situations, threats from the sea, undersea and air.

Captain Prakash Gopalan said the ship is deployed in the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman as part of India’s efforts to ensure safe passing of merchant ships in the sea. “Maritime sector contributes much to the growing economy of the country and we are obliged to pay much attention towards safeguarding the sea transportation,” he said noting that Indian Navy’s intervention has effectively resulted in the elimination of piracy in the Arabian Sea.

The captain who visited some Qatari officials said India is sharing a good friendship with Qatar. The ship is expected to leave the port and go back to India today. “Indian Navy is growing and it’s obliged to serve the country and others by helping them meet maritime challenges. Indian Navy has so far added several achievements to its credit by discharging its duty and serving merchant ships in the sea very well,” said Kulvinder Singh Bali, who serves the ship as assistant commander.

He added Indian Navy is maintaining a continuous presence in the region and the number of ships increased as per the needs.

A 305-member crew, including 48 officers, is with the ship and some of the officials paid visits to the cultural sites and tourist places in Qatar.

Captain Gopalan who visited cultural destinations in Qatar, hailed the country’s efforts in integrating heritage with modernity. “Qatar is a successful example of keeping the balance between heritage and modernity.”

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