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IAF Chief leaves for SA visit to boost bilateral ties

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha has left on a four-day visit to South Africa, during which he will hold talks with senior military leadership there and discuss a wide range of issues on enhancing bilateral defence ties.

The Chief of Air Staff is visiting South Africa on the invitation of Lt Gen F Z Msimang, Chief of Air Force, South African Air Force, an official release said on Sunday.

During the visit, Air Chief Marshal Raha is scheduled to hold talks with senior military leadership and discuss a wide range of bilateral issues on enhancing defence cooperation between the two countries, the release said.

The itinerary also includes a visit to Armscor, the Armament Corporation of South Africa and conducted tour of airbases at the 'Fighter Centre of Excellence' at Makhado and the South African Flight Test facilities at Overberg, it said.

While at Johannesburg, the Air Chief will also meet the High Commissioner of India Ruchi Ghanashyam.

In recent years, there have been close and frequent contacts at political and military levels between the two countries which are members of the trilateral initiative IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa).

His visit to South Africa would further boost bilateral relations between the two Air Forces and provide impetus to the 'Make in India' initiative, it said.

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