Indian Naval ship visits Micronesia

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Indian Naval Ship 'Satpura' on Thursday arrived at Pohnpei, Micronesia, on a two-day visit for an operational turnaround as part of its deployment in the Western Pacific Ocean, an official statement said.

The visit is the first ever by an Indian ship to the western Pacific country.

The statement called it "a demonstration of India's commitment to peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region and Indian Navy's increasing footprint and operational reach".

Pohnpei island is part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) in the Western Pacific Ocean.

During the visit, the Indian naval personnel will have professional interaction with the Division of Maritime Surveillance towards further enhancing cooperation between the two countries.

Calls on senior government and military authorities, sporting and cultural interactions, aimed at strengthening ties and mutual understanding between the two countries, are also planned.

INS Satpura is enroute to India after participation in Exercise RIMPAC-16, which is the largest multilateral naval exercise in the world, conducted biennially by the US Navy off the Hawaiian Coast.

Bilateral relations between India and the FSM have developed in the spirit of South-South cooperation and also through the Small Island Developing States forum of the UN.

Further, India is also engaged in capacity-building and human resource development of the island nation through the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme.

India also conducts regular dialogues with Pacific Islands Forum, of which the Federated States of Micronesia is a member.