Indian Army chief to visit Russia June 23-27

June 19th, 2008 - 12:10 am ICT by IANS  


New Delhi, June 18 (IANS) Indian Army chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor will pay a five-day visit to Russia from June 23 to discuss ways of ramping military cooperation between the two countries, particularly in the sphere of counter-terrorism. “The visit will further the defence cooperation between the two nations and cement India’s ties with the Russian Federation that are time tested and based on continuity, trust and mutual understanding,” a defence ministry statement Wednesday said.

During the visit, Kapoor will meet Russian defence officials and senior military officials. He will also visit the Russian land forces tank division, the Mikhailovskaya Artillery Academy and the North Caucasus military district.

“India and Russia share unique and time tested bonds of friendship based on strong multifaceted foundations that have been nurtured over several decades by the leaders of both the nations,” the statement said.

“Relations of both countries over the years have been characterized by stability and continuity and the growing defence cooperation reaffirms the close ties that have marked these bilateral relations.

“Today both nations face similar challenges brought about by secessionist and separatist forces which are posing a threat to pluralistic societies as prevalent in a large number of countries,” the statement added.

The Dec 13, 2001 attack on the Indian parliament, the October 2002 Moscow Theatre hostage crisis, the September 2004 Beslan school tragedy and the recent blasts in the Indian cities of Hyderabad and Jaipur “are grim reminders of the scourge of terrorism”, it said.

“To combat this threat, cooperation between all peace loving countries has become the need of the hour, resulting in concerted and synergised efforts by all,” the statement added.

The Indian and Russian armies have also been engaged in joint defence exercise Indra based on the theme of counter-terrorism. Two such exercises have so far taken place in 2005 and 2007.

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