In a  major step to boost strategic relations between India and Gulf countries, the Chief of Indian Army has embarked on a six-day crucial visit to UAE, Saudi Arabia. The COAS’ first pit stop will be the United Arab Emirates where he is set to meet senior military officials. This will mark the first-ever such visit by a Chief of Indian Army to two Gulf countries.

The General’s visit is viewed as a reflection of India’s progressive strategic ties with both countries. As per official sources, this trip is expected to open up fresh avenues for cooperation in defence and security. The Army Chief’s visit comes in the backdrop of some really massive developments in the Gulf region. It also comes at the same time when there is a tense situation arising from the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear weapons scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

General MM Naravane has proceeded on a visit to the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from December 9 to 14. The historic visit is aimed at making some major breakthrough keeping in view India’s hostile relations with its neighbours, Pakistan and China.

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General Naravane’s trip comes just days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent visits to Bahrain and the UAE.