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Indian Army Chief begins visit to Uzbekistan

The Chief of Army Staff, General Manoj Pande. (File Photo: PTI)

NEW DELHI (PTI): Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande embarked on a four-day visit to Uzbekistan on Monday to explore new avenues of bilateral military collaboration.

Gen Pande is scheduled to hold wide-ranging talks with the top military brass of the Central Asian nation besides visiting a number of defence establishments.

The Defence Ministry described the Army Chief's visit to Uzbekistan as a "significant step" in bolstering defence cooperation between the two countries.

"The visit by Gen Pande aims at strengthening military cooperation between India and Uzbekistan besides exploring new avenues of collaboration between the two nations," it said.

The Ministry said Gen Pande will hold talks with Lieutenant General Bakhodir Kurbanov, the Defence Minister of Uzbekistan; Major General Khalmukhamedov Shukhrat Gayratjanovich, the First Deputy Minister of Defence and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces.

"These dialogues are pivotal in fostering stronger military cooperation," it said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Gen Pande will visit late prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri's memorial in Tashkent and pay homage to him, it said.

Thereafter, he will visit the Victory Park, commemorating Uzbekistan's contributions and sacrifices in the Second World War.

On Wednesday, the Army Chief will travel to Samarkand where he will meet Commander of the Central Military District.

"The visit will culminate in Termez, on April 18, where the Army Chief is also scheduled to witness the joint exercise DUSTLIK between the armed forces of India and Uzbekistan, highlighting the interoperability and camaraderie developed between the two countries," the Ministry said.

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