The Cambodian and Indian navies yesterday held a joint maritime exercise in Sihanoukville aimed at bolstering cooperation and ties with each other.
The exercise was mainly confined to docking manoeuvers because of bad weather.
Rear Admiral Mey Dina, spokesman for the Naval Ream Base in Preah Sihanouk province, yesterday said joint exercises on disaster management and sea rescue had to be cancelled due to the weather.
“We cancelled the sea rescue exercise because of strong winds and high waves and we concentrated on docking manoeuvers,” he said.
Rear Adm Dina said the two Indian naval ships left Cambodia at around 11am after concluding the exercise.
An Indian Embassy press release last week named the two ships as INS Sahyadri commanded by Captain Ashwin Arvind and INS Kiltan commanded by Commander Ginto George Chacko.
Rear Adm Dina also said that Admiral Tea Vinh, Royal Navy Commander, on Saturday held discussions with the two Indian commanders, which focused on cooperation between the two countries’ navies.
“They discussed the strengthening of cooperation between the two navies,” he said. “Cambodia highly appreciates India’s continued bilateral ties, including cultural friendship.”
Rear Adm Dina noted that since 2003, 18 Indian naval ships have docked at the port.
According to the Indian embassy press release, the visit forms part of the Indian Navy’s ongoing goodwill visit to the Southeast Asian region.
“The current ship visit seeks to enhance maritime cooperation between the two navies,” it said. “This 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.”
Chheang Vannarith, president of Asian Vision Institute, said yesterday that India is seeking to play a greater security role in Southeast Asia.
“India does not have any ambition to build a hegemonic power here but to provide net security benefits in the region,” he noted. “India’s engagement strategy with Southeast Asia needs to be more robust both in terms of vision and concrete actions.”