India-Saudi Arabia to enhance defence cooperation

September 10th, 2012 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) India and Saudi Arabia will enhance bilateral cooperation with defence exchanges and interaction between their armed forces, the government said Monday.

The two countries held the first ever meeting of the joint committee on defence cooperation here Monday. It was attended by a 11-member Saudi delegation headed by armed forces operations’ chief Major General Suleiman Saleh Al-Khalifa.

“Proposals for exchange of high level visits, training exchanges and functional exchanges in various areas were discussed and will be finalised over the coming weeks,” the defence ministry said in a statement.

The joint committee has been tasked to develop programmes to further cooperation between the military establishments of the two countries.

Both the countries decided to form the committee after Defence Minister A.K. Antony met his Saudi counterpart Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud during a visit to Saudi Arabia in February 2012.

India-Saudi relations have are in an upswing since 2006 after King Abdullah visited New Delhi. In 2010, the two nations signed several pacts, including agreements on energy, counterterrorism, narcotics, money laundering and extradition.

The two countries are also examining the possibility of cooperation in defence industries.

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