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Indian Army chief to visit Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan

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NEW DELHI (PTI): As part of India's efforts to bolster ties with Central Asian Region (CAR) countries, Army Chief General V K Singh will undertake a six-day visit to Uzbekistan and Khazakhstan from Wednesday to look at ways to develop military cooperation with them.

The three-day tour of the Army Chief to Uzbekistan will take place from November 16 to 19 after which he would proceed to Kazakhstan for a three-day goodwill visit, Army officials said here.

This would be the first visit to Kazakhstan in last 16 years by an Indian Army Chief after General Shankar Roy Chaudhury visited that country. For Uzbekistan it would be the first ever visit by an Army General, they said.

These visits are aimed at improving India's relations with the CAR countries, they said.

India and Kazakhstan had held strategic level talks in 2009 and the Kazakh president was invited as the Chief Guest during the Republic Day parade then. Two countries have developed close cooperation in fighting terrorism and promoting regional security.

Gen Singh's visit will take place after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Kazakhstan early this year.

India and Uzbekistan have signed a number of agreements in areas of trade, commerce, science and technology and agriculture.

During these visits, Indian Army will explore ways to enhance the existing cooperation with these countries, they said.

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