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India, Oman to better economic and defence engagement

Posted on Jun 02 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, June 2 : Bilateral trade and defence cooperation will top the agenda when Oman Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah visits India June 3, an external affairs ministry official said Monday.

Although the visit is to congratulate the new Indian government on behalf of Oman, the two countries are likely to draw a roadmap for future economic and defence cooperation, the official added.

Oman and India have bilateral trade of over USD 5 billion per annum which is likely to increase to USD 6 billion during the next financial year.

There are over 50 Indo-Oman joint ventures in the Sultanate of Oman.

Oman, where 720,000 expatriate Indians live, is engaged with India in good defence cooperation with an institutionalised naval exercise called Naseem-Al-Bahr (Sea Breeze) and an air exercise Al Jisr Al Sharqi (Eastern Bridge).

The Gulf nation is also cooperating with India in anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Abdullah had visited India in February on the invitation of then external affairs minister Salman Khurshid.

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