China, Pakistan, Iran not invited to AeroIndia

February 1st, 2011 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) Neighbours China and Pakistan and friendly Iran are among the countries that India has not invited for this year’s AeroIndia show in Bangalore from Feb 9 while strife-torn Egypt is yet to confirm its participation. “China was sent an invite for the last edition, but it did not participate. So this time no invite was sent. Pakistan and Iran too were not invited,” Defence Production Secretary Raj Kumar Singh told reporters here Tuesday.

“In the case of Pakistan and Iran, they too were also not invited to the show. And the list of countries to be invited is usually drawn by the External Affairs Ministry. We act on their advice,” Singh said when asked why these countries were not called to join India’s largest aerospace event.

The air show, to be held at the Yelahanka air force station, will have 29 foreign countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka among the neighbouring countries apart from US, Israel, Russia, Italy and France.

“It is good that countries like Afghanistan are showing interest in the air show and would be participating. We have good cooperation with the Afghan government and we want it to grow,” he said.

Asked if the invites indicated India’s diplomacy trends, Singh replied in the negative. “It is wide off the mark if you describe the invitations as diplomatic trends,” he added.

To a query why MiG-35, one of the six contenders for the Indian Air Force’s 126 combat aircraft tender worth $10.4-billion, was not on display this AeroIndia, Singh said India wanted the aircraft to participate.

“Probably because they had already brought the jet last edition to Bangalore, they may not want to bring it this time around. But we are hopeful. The confirmation of participation will keep coming till the last minute,” he said.

With regard to Egypt’s participation in view of its recent political trouble, he said the confirmation from Cairo was yet to come.

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