03:52 GMT +318 November 2019
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    An Indian Army T-90 battle tank kicks up dust during the Shoor Veer military exercise near Hanumangarh, located near the India-Pakistan border, 2012.

    India Sends Contingent for First-Ever Military Exercises with Uzbekistan

    © AFP 2019 / Sam PANTHAKY
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    New Delhi (Sputnik) Uzbekistan is one of the 85 countries in the world where the Indian defence ministry appointed defence attaches to boost military and defence relations including exports.

    India is set to carry out its first-ever military exercise with Uzbekistan to strengthen military diplomacy in the Eurasian region. A 45-member contingent is taking part in a joint military exercise named DUSTLIK-2019 that will primarily focus on anti-terror operations.

    During the 10-day military exercise, beginning 4 November, the troops will train in heliborne operations, mountain craft, tactical operations and house-intervention drills.

    Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Uzbeki counterpart Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov will witness the curtain-raiser event of the joint exercise on 3 November. The two countries will discuss defence cooperation in detail, in a separate bilateral meet between the two countries.

    On Friday morning, Rajnath Singh arrived in Tashkent to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting and also to attend bilateral engagements with Uzbekistan.

    “I Look forward to meeting Uzbekistan’s Defence Minister, Major Gen. K. Nizamovich to discuss issues pertaining to defence cooperation,” the minister stated ahead of departing for the country.

    Last year, the two countries agreed to hold joint military training exercises in the field of counter-terrorism and to cooperate in military education and army medicine. It was also decided to set up a Joint Working Group to support and sustain enhanced defence-related activities and defence wings at their respective embassies in Tashkent and New Delhi.

    Singh will represent India at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Council of the Heads of Government (CHG) meeting on 1-2 November. The SCO represents over 40% of the population and nearly 20% of the global GDP.

    “I look forward to further India’s association with SCO members which will help us in greater economic cooperation and also counter-terrorism cooperation, among several other things,” the minister added.

    The last two CHG meetings were held in 2017 in the Russian city of Sochi and in 2018 in Tajikistan’s largest city and capital Dushanbe.

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    Eurasia, CIS, India, Uzbekistan, military drills, military exercise, military ties, Rajnath Singh
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