Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Indian Defence Minister On Visit To Saudi Arabia And Qatar

Indian Defence Minister, AK Antony is visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar in a bid to boost bilateral defence cooperation The three-day visit will begin on Saturday. The defence minister will be accompanied by Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt General AS Lamba and other senior officials of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Armed Forces.

Antony’s first stop will be Riyadh and he is scheduled to meet top Saudi leadership on issues of bilateral and regional importance. The visit aims at paving the way for enhanced defence interactions between the Armed Forces of the two countries, especially in areas of training and technical exchanges. India and Saudi Arabia now have a regular exchange of defence related visits and interactions. Indian and Saudi ships have been calling on each other’s ports.

Doha is the second stop for the defence minister. India and Qatar had signed a bilateral agreement on defence cooperation during the visit of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Doha in November 2008. The Indian and Qatari Armed Forces have exchanged visits and have participated as observers in each other’s exercises.