India, Uzbekistan ink MoUs on military, medicine and education

India and Uzbekistan have inked three MoUs pertaining to military medicine and military education during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s three-day visit to Tashkent, officials said here on Sunday.

The MoUs between the two countries had been on the anvil and were inked following a bilateral meeting that Singh held with his Uzbekistan counterpart Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov.

“India and Uzbekistan inked an MoU on cooperation in the field of military medicine between the armed forces of the two countries. Two institution-to-institution MoUs on training and capacity building between institutes of higher military learning of the two countries were also signed,” a senior Defence Ministry official said.

Singh’s visit to Uzbekistan was the first by any Indian Defence Minister to the Central Asian nation in the past around 15 years.

Singh and his Uzbekistan counterpart witnessed the first-ever exchange over a video-link between College of Defence Management in Secunderabad, India and the Armed Forces Academy of Uzbekistan, Tashkent.

The two Defence Ministers also presided over a curtain raiser of the first-ever India-Uzbekistan joint exercise Dustlik 2019 on Sunday. The exercise, which will focus on counter-terrorism, will be conducted from November 4 to 13 at the Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent between the Armies of the two countries.

Officials said during the bilateral meeting, both Defence Ministers expressed satisfaction at the enhanced level of engagement between their respective countries in the defence sphere.

“This enhanced level of engagement is reflected in the first ever meeting of the JWG on Defence Cooperation in February 2019, visit of Defence Secretary of India in March 2019 and the first-ever Defence-Industry Workshop organised in Tashkent in September 2019. India has offered a concessional line of credit of USD 40 million for procurement of goods and services by Uzbekistan from India. The direct exchanges related to training, capacity building and education between the Armed Forces on both sides has also witnessed a significant upswing,” said a Defence Ministry statement.

Officials further said the defence ministers agreed that both nations would continue to work together to further raise their level of engagements in the defence sphere in keeping with strategic partnerships.

This would be based on higher level of mutual trust and respect between the two countries and on their shared views and approaches on a range of regional and international issues, including promoting regional stability and security and combatting extremism and terrorism.

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