Indian, Uzbek armies to hold first-ever joint exercise
The Indian Army will undertake a joint exercise with the Army of Uzbekistan for the first time following Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's three-day visit to the Central Asian nation beginning November 1, Defence Ministry officials said here on Thursday.
The joint exercise between Indian and Uzbekistan armies, code named Dostlik 2019, will be conducted from November 4 to 13.
Singh is travelling to Uzbekistan to represent India at the Council of Heads of Government meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) that is scheduled to be held in Tashkent on November 1 and 2.
"Rajnath Singh and the Uzbekistan Defence Minister Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich will witness a curtain raiser event of the joint exercise of the two armies. This is the first-ever joint exercise that will be undertaken by the armies of India and Uzbekistan. Singh is scheduled to travel to Russia after visiting Uzbekistan," a senior Defence Ministry official told IANS.
The SCO conference will focus on multilateral economic cooperation in the region. This will be the third Council of Heads of Government meeting after India became a member of the SCO.
In Tashkent, Singh is also scheduled to hold bilateral discussions with the Uzbekistan government on November 2 and 3.
"He will hold a meeting with Major General Kurbanov Bakhodir Nizamovich, Minister of Defence of Uzbekistan to discuss issues of bilateral defence cooperation," said a Defence Ministry statement.
Sources said a delegation of top business honchos are scheduled to accompany Singh to Russia to explore partnerships with the country's defence firms.IANS