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Sitharaman asks Defence Attaches to play pro-active role

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked India's defence attaches abroad to play a proactive role in promoting the country as a major manufacturer of military platforms.

The defence attaches posted in 44 countries are in India to attend the four-day-long Defence Expo beginning Wednesday at Thiruvidanthai near Chennai.

Defence Ministry officials said Sitharaman, in the first such engagement, asked the defence attaches to work towards deepening defence cooperation with the countries where they are posted.

India has Resident Defence Attaches (DAs) in 44 countries, who are accredited to a total of 95 countries.

"The Defence Minister outlined India's interest in building stronger military-to-military cooperation, training and capacity building as well as cooperation in defence industry and technology with our partners," the ministry said in a statement.

It said she encouraged the DAs to play a more pro-active role in this process, highlighting India's views and positions on the evolving regional and global security scenario as well as its rapid economic and military advancements.

Talking about ongoing efforts to expand defence manufacturing in India, she also stressed the need for DAs to engage effectively with all stakeholders in the defence sector.

A number of top defence ministry officials as well as representatives of the defence industry attended the conference on Monday.

Senior officials of Ministry of External Affairs will address the DAs on Tueday, officials said.

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