New Delhi, July 15 (IANS) In a bid to bolster India’s bilateral military relations with Malaysia and demonstrating India’s operational reach, three Indian warships arrived on Friday at Malaysia’s Port Kelang in Malaysia, as part of a deployment to the South China Sea and Western Pacific.
The three vessels INS Sahyadri, INS Shakti and INS Kirch, under the command of Rear Admiral S.V. Bhokare are on a four-day visit, a defence ministry statement said.
“During the visit, the IN ships will have professional interaction with the Royal Malaysian Navy towards further enhancing co-operation between the two forces,” it added.
INS Sahyadri is commanded by Captain K.S. Rajkumar, INS Shakti by Captain Gagan Kaushal and INS Kirch by Commander Sharad Sinsunwal.
The current visit seeks to enhance maritime cooperation between the Indian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Navy, the statement said.
“It will further bolster the strong bonds of friendship between India and Malaysia and contribute to security and stability in this vital part of the world,” it said.
“The visiting IN ships are also likely to conduct exercises with the Royal Malaysian Navy, aimed at enhancing interoperability in communication as well as Search and Rescue procedures, post departure from Port Kelang,” it added.
The Indian Navy has been a regular participant at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia. The last visit by an IN ship Malaysia was in May 2015, when INS Saryu berthed at Penang.
China recently suffered a major diplomatic blow when an international tribunal ruled that it violated the Philippines’ rights in the South China Sea. Beijing refused to accept the verdict, calling it “null and void”.
Meanwhile, India and Japan urged all parties “to show utmost respect for the Unclos” in the wake of an international tribunal ruling against China’s claims to rights in the South China Sea and laid emphasis on freedom of navigation and overflights in international waters.