Two Indian naval ships will be making a port call at Vietnam from April 13 to 16 as part of an ongoing operational deployment in the Southeast Asian region. INS Kolkata and INS Shakti, under the command of Captain Aditya Hara, will arrive in Cam Ranh International port on Saturday, the Indian Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement on Friday.
During the visit, there will be professional interaction between personnel of the Indian Navy and Vietnam People's Navy. Official calls and interaction with dignitaries of the Vietnamese government as well as guided tours and sports events for the visiting Indian Navy personnel have also been planned, the statement said.
A visit to the Indian Ships will also be organised for friends of India in Khanh Hoa province. Following the completion of harbour phase of activities, both the navies would conduct joint exercises.
India-Vietnam relations have grown stronger in recent years due to a vibrant economic engagement and growing convergence on political, regional and security issues. In 2016, during the official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vietnam, the relations between the two countries were elevated to the level of 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership'.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited India in January 2018 as a guest at the Republic Day Parade and took part in the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit. This was followed by a State Visit by the then President of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang, to India in March 2018. President Ram Nath Kovind paid a State Visit to Vietnam in November 2018.
"These high-level visits followed by regular exchanges from defence services have added momentum into ongoing bilateral defence and security cooperation," the embassy said. Bilateral defence cooperation is a vital component of the 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership' between India and Vietnam.
The Indian Navy has extensive interactions with the Vietnam People's Navy, particularly in the field of training, repairs, maintenance and logistics support aimed at capacity building. Earlier this month, in a series of ships' port, calls between two countries, an Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS VIJIT paid a port call to Danang from April 1 to 4.
"There is growing convergence between India and Vietnam on various regional and international issues. Both countries are committed to building a peaceful and prosperous Asia and the Indo-Pacific region on the basis of respect for national sovereignty and international law as well as freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded economic activities. "The current visit seeks to enhance bilateral maritime cooperation and will further bolster the strong bonds of friendship between the two countries and contribute to security and stability in the region and the world at large," the statement added.
(With inputs from agencies.)