[India] Oct 05 (ANI): India and Kazakhstan agreed to bolster their cooperation in the defence sector. The agreement came during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s three-day visit to Kazakhstan capital Astana from October 02.
During the visit, Sitharaman met her Kazakh counterpart, Nurlan Yermekbayev and Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov. They discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence and military-technical cooperation and took stock of the progress that the bilateral relationship has made since the renewal of the MoU on defence cooperation in January 2017.
India and Kazakhstan’s Defence Cooperation includes military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programs. Over 200 Kazakh defence personnel have undergone military training in India till date.
The two countries jointly conducted a company level military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in South Kazakhstan, last month. India and Kazakhstan are bound by historical and cultural ties and this has laid a strong foundation for the multifaceted cooperation. Both countries have been Strategic Partners since 2009.
Sitharaman also discussed issues relating to defence production with Atamkulov. The possibilities of joint production or co-production were discussed in this regard, based on the relative strengths and experience of both sides. She also discussed regional developments with the Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov. The Kazakhstan FM appreciated India’s position and experience as a major force in UN Peace Keeping and contributor peacebuilding in various parts of the world under the UN mandate.
Sitharaman also invited Yermekbayev and Atamkulov to visit India to attend the Aero India 2019 military aviation exhibition, to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019. (ANI)