India Committed To Provide Support To African Partner Countries In All Defence Related Matters: Rajnath

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, foster stability and enhance the defence capabilities together.

He was addresing the first edition of India-Africa Army Chiefs’ Conclave organised on the sidelines of 2nd Africa-India Joint Exercise ‘AFINDEX’ in Pune, Maharashtra today. The Conclave was attended by Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and Chiefs & representatives of 31 African nations, along with other civil and defence dignitaries.

Singh reiterated India’s commitment to provide support to African partner-countries in all defence related matters, including capability enhancement of their Armed Forces, to ensure their economic growth and social development. He emphasised that the full potential of a nation’s progress can be realised only when its security is ensured.

India has been at the forefront of providing training to the Armed Forces of African nations and equipping them with necessary skills to face the security challenges of the 21st century. The training programmes cover a wide range of areas, including counter-insurgency operations, peacekeeping, maritime security and specialised training in new domains such as cyber warfare and drone operations. It also encompasses training civilians in areas such as disaster management, humanitarian aid and medical assistance. A large number of African Countries’ Armed Forces personnel continue to visit India for training in different areas.

In the conference Army Chief General Manoj Pande said the Indo-African Conference of Chiefs of Army Staff is a new chapter in defence and security. This conference is important in terms of defence cooperation and India has always cooperated to promote peace and stability in African countries. India has cooperated in setting up defence beacons in Ethiopia and Nigeria, General Pandey noted. Army chiefs of 10 African countries and representatives of 31 countries are participating in this conference.

The Defence Minister termed ‘AFINDEX’ as a reflection of India’s continued focus on African nations to develop capacities and enhance mutual capabilities.

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