The visit of Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samudra Paheredar to Doha is testimony to the time-tested friendship between India and Qatar, Indian ambassador P Kumaran said yesterday.
The envoy made the observation during an official reception held on board the vessel at Hamad Port.
“It is an honour and a pleasure for me to join the commanding officer of Indian Coast Guard Ship Samudra Paheredar, Deputy Inspector-General Anwar Khan and his team, in extending a warm welcome to all of you on board,” Kumaran said in his address to officials from the Ministry of Defence, the Qatar Coast Guard, the Qatar Amiri Naval Force, defence attaches and members of the Diplomatic Corps, officers from French navy ship Courbet, the commanding officer of ICGS Samudra Paheredar and his colleagues on board, as well as members of the Indian community in Qatar.
The ambassador said: “At the outset, I would like place on record that the embassy of India appreciates the support and co-operation of the Government of Qatar, the Directorate of International Military Co-operation GHQ, the Qatar Amiri Naval Force and the Qatar Coasts and Borders Security Department, in making the visit of ICGS Samudra Paheredar successful and mutually beneficial.
“In the framework of the deep-rooted friendly ties and the growing co-operation between India and Qatar, ICGS Samudra Paheredar is visiting Qatar in conjunction with the celebrations of India’s 71st Republic Day, which falls on January 26,” he said.
“As the commanding officer has brought out, the Indian Coast Guard is a multi-mission organisation, conducting round-the-year, real-life operations at sea, and has a wide range of task capabilities for both surface and air operations.”
The envoy noted that the Indian Coast Guard, in co-operation with the Indian Navy, has been undertaking surveillance of a long coast line, extending over 7,500km and a wide Exclusive Economic Zone of about 2.37mn sq km.
A notable feature of the Indian Coast Guard’s force structure is the fact that an overwhelming majority of its ships are designed and built in India, Kumaran added.
Indian Navy and Coast Guard ships have been visiting Qatar frequently in recent years, the envoy said.
The INS Trikand visited Qatar in November last year, and participated in the inaugural edition of the “Za’eer Al-Bahr” bilateral exercise between the Indian Navy and Qatar Amiri Naval Force.
The visit of ICGS Samudra Paheredar is the third visit by an Indian Coast Guard Ship to Qatar in the last three years; ICGS Samudra Pavak and ICGS Samarth had visited Qatar in January and November 2017.
“As part of our growing maritime co-operation, Indian Coast Guard ships have used the opportunities of their visits to Qatar to engage in mutually beneficial professional interactions for enhancing co-operation and sharing experiences of maritime operations, including pollution control, combating maritime terrorism, coastal security and maritime surveillance,” he stressed.
ICGS Samudra Paheredar, the second of the Pollution Control Vessel series of the Indian Coast Guard, was indigenously designed and built by ABG Ship Yard, India, and commissioned in the year 2012.
The visit of ICGS Samudra Paheredar to Doha is “testimony to the time-tested friendship between India and Qatar and I would like to once again convey my sincere thanks and deep appreciation to the esteemed Qatar Armed Forces and the Qatar Coasts and Borders Security Department for their excellent support and co-operation”, the envoy concluded.
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