The visit of Qatar by Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samarth is expected to boost maritime relations with Qatar and other friendly countries in the Arab region, Indian ambassador P Kumaran has said.

The envoy said this while addressing visitors from the Indian community, defence attaches of some of the foreign missions in Qatar and Qatari defence officials on board ICGS Samarth yesterday evening.

The Coast Guard vessel, which called on Hamad Port on Saturday morning, is scheduled to leave Qatar tomorrow.

Ambassador Kumaran said ICGS Samarth is the fourth Indian Coast Guard vessel to arrive in Qatar in the last three years. Earlier this year, to coincide with India’s 68th Republic Day celebrations on January 26, a Coast Guard ship had arrived in Doha.

Ships from the Indian Navy too had arrived on friendship missions in recent years, recalled Kumaran.

The ambassador stressed before the gathering yesterday that the 105m-long ICGS Samarth – an offshore patrol vessel – is a 100% indigenous ship, manufactured at Goa’s shipyard on India’s western coast.

He noted that shipyards in India have the capability and technology to build and deliver advanced patrol and other types of vessels for the use of defence forces from different parts of the world.

ICGS Samarth is under the command of deputy inspector-general (DIG) K R Deepak Kumar.

Earlier, while welcoming the visitors, DIG Kumar said visits to Qatar by Coast Guard vessels from India would be mutually beneficial to the Coast Guard of both Qatar and India and, in the long run, would contribute to discovering new areas in maritime operations.

The officer also mentioned the role being played by Indian maritime teams in strengthening defence in the seas of the region and its neighbourhood. Through such operations, they provide effective security, safety and stability to the whole region, he said.

Kumar said he and his team members were highly satisfied with the facilities at Hamad Port and thanked the Qatari officials for extending the team a warm reception.

Today, students of some of the Indian schools in Qatar will be received on the ship.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News.