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Indian Navy chief R Hari Kumar presides handing over ceremony of INS Kirpan to Vietnam

Cam Ranh [Vietnam], July 22 (ANI): On completing 32 years of illustrious service to the nation, Indian Naval Ship Kirpan has been decommissioned from the Indian Navy and handed over to Vietnam People's Navy (VPN) on Saturday.

The decommissioning and handing over ceremony of INS Kirpan to VPN was presided over by Adm R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy and Rear Adm Pham Manh Hung, Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff, VPN.

CNS Adm R Hari Kumar, while addressing the decommissioning ceremony said,"It is a matter of great honour for me to be a part of the handing over ceremony of one of the finest and longest-serving warships of the Indian Navy - Kirpan, to the esteemed Vietnam People's Navy.""The transfer of Kirpan to the Vietnam People's Navy resonates with India's G20 vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - One Earth, One Family, One Future," he added.

India and Vietnam share a rich history of civilisational and cultural linkages spanning over 2000 years, originating at the world-famous heritage site My Sonshy;- home to the Hindu Cham civilisation. The Champa temples, constructed at Da Nang between the 4th and 13th Century AD, stand testimony to the fact that the seas have and will continue to enable the connection between our nations, manifesting into shared values, traditions, languages, texts, culture, food - practically every aspect.

The underlying current being the deep people-to-people bonds that have helped overcome the vagaries of time to bring India-Vietnam to a'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership' that the two countries enjoy today.

"The present is a continuation of this long-term association between Vietnam and India. There are many commonalities- be it the larger worldview, vision for the future, definitive goals for socio-economic well-being, and more importantly, the overall approach of pursuing and promoting individual or shared interests based on the spirit of mutual respect," Admiral said. Kumar also said,"Both India and Vietnam are responsible members of the global community and regularly demonstrate their commitment to upholding the principles of fairness and justice enshrined in the international legal framework."India gracefully accepted the landmark decision by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning a disputed area in the Bay of Bengal, which gave our neighbour access to a larger-sea area. Such examples set precedence for resolving future disputes through shared values of peaceful means, abiding by international law and strengthening bonds between two nations.

This move will further strengthen India's relationship with the East Asian region.

"Strengthening the country's partnership with Southeast Asian countries, Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar will be part of the handing over ceremony for the INS Kirpan to Vietnam today," Indian Navy officials told ANI before Kumar left for Vietnam.

The INS Kirpan left on her final journey from India to Vietnam from Visakhapatnam on June 28.

The decision to gift the warship to Vietnam was announced last month during the visit of Vietnam Defence Minister Gen Phan Van Giang by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

This is the first time that a large-size in-service Corvette is being gifted to a friendly country by India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been stressing the'Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR)' policy.

INS Kirpan is an indigenously built Khukri class missile corvette that is equipped with weapons and sensors and has been fully operational in the Indian Navy.

Notably, Vietnam and India have had very good relations militarily in the past and have been working on military hardware cooperation.

India has also carried out a refit of the Kirpan in the recent past before gifting it to the Vietnamese Navy, and it has strong capabilities. (ANI)