NEW DELHI: Indian Army chief Manoj Mukund Naravane will visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates next week on a four day visit that is seen as a testimony to the warming ties between India and the Gulf countries.

According to two people familiar with the matter, Naravane will be in Riyadh for two days before heading to the UAE. During the stops, he will meet his counterparts and senior officials.

While the army chief’s visit to the UAE comes close on the heels of a visit there by the Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar, Naravane’s visit to Saudi Arabia is the first by an Indian army chief. In Saudi Arabia, the Indian Army chief will be addressing the Saudi National Defence College.

The upswing in ties between India and the Gulf countries comes amidst a cooling of ties between Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Pakistan. Ties fiesta frayed when Pakistan refused to send troops to join Saudi and Emirati troops in Yemen. Pakistan’s growing ties with Turkey and Malaysia also coincided with the dip in ties with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. In August, Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had expressed his displeasure at Saudi Arabia not convening an Organisation of Islamic Conference meeting on Kashmir.