Press TV- The Iranian Navy’s 50th naval fleet has docked at the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka as the Islamic Republic seeks to expand its naval presence and boost its power in international waters.
The 50th naval fleet, comprised of Tunb logistic-combat warship and Shaheed Naqdi and Bayandor destroyers, arrived at the port, the largest in Sri Lanka, on Friday.
It aims to strengthen mutual relations and develop peace and friendship.
A meeting between senior Iranian and Sri Lankan commanders and visits to military educational centers as well as cultural and historical sites are among the main plans of those on board the fleet.
Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mohammad Amiri Zayeri welcomed the crew of the flotilla upon their arrival.
The 50th flotilla embarked on the voyage on January 30 through a ceremony attended by Commander of Moqaddam Naval Base Rear Admiral Afshin Tashk.
He said the flotilla aims to display high capabilities of the Iranian naval forces and added that it is imperative for a strategic force to have presence in the high seas.
In recent years, Iran’s Navy has increased its presence in international waters to protect naval routes and provide security for merchant vessels and tankers.
In line with international efforts against piracy, the Iranian Navy has been conducting patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, safeguarding merchant containers and oil tankers owned or leased by Iran or other countries.
Iran’s Navy has managed to foil several attacks on both Iranian and foreign tankers during its missions in international waters.