Saudi forces took part in a multinational naval exercise called “Aman 17”, conducted in Pakistan on Saturday, 11th February.
The exercise, in which Saudi Arabia usually participates as an observer, aims to promote security-related co-operation to enhance a sustainable maritime environment and consolidate Saudi-Pakistani defense relationships.
In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, France and China, some Arab and Islamic countries took part in this fifth edition of the exercise. Pakistan has been holding the exercise every alternate year since 2007.
The multinational naval exercise kicked off in Karachi Friday morning with 37 countries, including Pakistan.
Nine of the visitors - Australia, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Russia - participated with naval assets.
Commander of the Pakistani fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini, who was the chief guest on the occasion, inaugurated the exercise by hoisting the Pakistani flag at the Karachi dockyard.
peaking at the ceremony, the Vice Admiral said that the exercise would help work against human trafficking, narcotics smuggling, and terrorism in the region, Radio Pakistan reported.
The Pakistan Navy has played a vital role for ensuring safe passage of cargo ships in the region, he added.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif extended a warm welcome to all participants and said Pakistan, being a major stakeholder in maritime security of the Arabian Sea, is fully committed to ensuring freedom of navigation and lawful maritime order.
The Premier pointed out that maritime security challenges in the Indian Ocean are both multidimensional and multifaceted. Threats such as maritime terrorism, drug trafficking and piracy have acquired international dimensions, he said.
He further emphasized that cooperation between international navies is imperative to countering emerging threats.