India and Kazakhstan agreed to boost military cooperation, especially in the areas of defence production, as India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her Kazakhstan counterpart Nurlan Yermekbayev on her three-day visit to the central Asian country.
In October, Defence Minister Sitharaman met Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov. Both the ministers discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence and military-technical cooperation and reviewed the progress of the bilateral relationship, especially in the defence sector.
The two countries restored the Memorandum of Cooperation on defence in January 2017. Both countries are ‘strategic partners’ since 2009.
“Smt Nirmala Sitharaman also discussed issues relating to defence production with the Minister for Defence and Aerospace Industry. In this connection, the possibilities of joint production and/or co-production were discuss were discussed based upon the relative strengths and experience of both sides. She also discussed regional developments with the Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Mr Kairat Abdrakhmanov,” the official statement said.
India and Kazakhstan defence cooperation concentrate on military-technical cooperation, military education, and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programs.
India conducted military training for approximately 200 Kazakh defence forces personnel. And also a company-level joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in south Kazakhstan last month.
Sitharaman and Yermekbayev presided over the flag off ceremony of the Kazakhstan contingent that will join the Indian contingent at the United Nations International Peacekeeping Force in Lebanon.
The official statement said that the Kazakh contingent will join the Indian contingent at Lebanon by the end of this month. The Defence Minister Sitharaman also invited Yermekbayev Atamkulov to visit India and to attend Aero India 2019 to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019.
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