In first-ever visit, Army chief Gen Naravane holds talks on defence cooperation with UAE

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In the first-ever visit by the head of the Indian Army to the two strategically important Gulf countries, chief of army staff Gen. MM Naravane discussed bilateral defence cooperation and issues of mutual interest with the UAE’s Commander of the Land Forces Major General Saleh Mohammed Saleh Al Ameri, last Friday, reported Press Trust of India (PTI).

Gen. Naravane visited the United Arab Emirates from 9 to 10 December. The Army chief is travelling to Saudi Arabia for the second leg of his tour from today. According to the Indian Army, Gen. Naravane on Wednesday received a Guard of Honour at the headquarters of the UAE’s Land Forces and laid a wreath at the Martyr’s Point.

“#COAS also interacted with Major General Saleh Mohammed Saleh Al Ameri, Commander #LandForces & Staff and discussed issues of mutual interest & defence cooperation,” the Indian Army’s Additional Directorate General of Public Information said in a tweet on Friday.

The Army chief’s visit to the UAE aims to further strengthen bilateral defence cooperation, it added. His visit is seen as a reflection of India’s growing strategic ties with the two countries and is expected to further open up new avenues for cooperation in the defence and security sphere, reported PTI.

Ahead of his visit to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the Army said in a statement in New Delhi, “During the visit, he will be meeting his counterparts and senior military leadership of these countries. The visit is historic in the sense that it will be the first time an Indian Army chief is visiting the UAE and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Last month, the Army chief travelled to Nepal on a three-day visit that had significant diplomatic overtone. In October, Gen. Naravane travelled to Myanmar along with Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on a , reported PTI, visit during which India decided to supply an attack submarine to the Myanmar Navy besides agreeing to further deepen military and defence ties.

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