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Indian Army Chief meets Bangladesh's armed forces' chiefs; holds talks to bolster defence ties

Army Chief General MM Naravane inspects a guard of honour at Shikha Anirban in Dhaka, Thursday, April 8, 2021. Photo: ADG PI/ PTI

DHAKA (PTI): Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane on Thursday met Bangladesh's Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs, and discussed issues of mutual interest and matters on bilateral defence cooperation besides bolstering the strategic ties between the two neighbours.

Naravane also paid tributes to the fallen heroes of Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War after arriving in the country on a five-day visit to further strengthen the close and fraternal ties existing between the Armed Forces of the two nations.

The visit of Naravane, who is in Dhaka at the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Gen Aziz Ahmed, comes less than two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the neighbouring country.

The Indian Army's Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADG PI) said on Twitter that Gen Naravane called on Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal, Chief of Naval Staff, Bangladesh Navy and discussed issues of mutual interest.

After his interaction with Admiral Iqbal, the Indian Army Chief met the country's acting Chief of Air Staff of Bangladesh Air Force.

General MM Naravane COAS interacted with Air Vice Marshal M Abul Bashar, Acting Chief of Air Staff of Bangladesh Air Force and discussed matters on bilateral defence cooperation, the ADG PI said in another tweet.

It said that the Indian Army Chief called on his Bangladeshi counterpart Gen Aziz Ahmed.

During the meeting between the two Chiefs of Armed Forces, strengthening of bilateral defence cooperation and strategic ties between two countries were discussed, the ADG PI said.

The Indian High Commission in Dhaka said that Gen Naravane called on his counterparts and other senior officers to discuss matters of mutual cooperation.

The visit by Indian Army Chief will strengthen the close and fraternal ties existing between the Armed Forces of the two countries, it said.

During the day, Gen Naravane gifted a replica of T-55 Tank and a picture of 75/24 mm Howitzer, a field artillery.

The original equipment are being gifted for museums of Bangladesh. Both T-55 Tank and 75/24 mm Howitzer played a stellar role in the 1971 War of Liberation, the ADG PI said on Twitter.

Gen Naravane also handed over 100,000 Covid vaccine jabs to Bangladesh Army Chief Gen Ahmed.

Meanwhile, a multi-national military exercise is in progress at Bangabandhu Senanibas in Bangladesh.

The contingents of Indian Army and other participating nations conducted counter-insurgency drills at Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations Training (BIPSOT), the Indian Army's Western Command tweeted.

Exercise #ShantirOgroshena2021: Indo-Bangladesh troops strengthening bonds of friendship through sports & professional competitions. Felicitated by Commander Army Training & Doctrine Command & GOC 19 Infantry Division of #BangladeshArmy, it said in another tweet.

After his arrival in Dhaka, Gen Narawane paid tribute to the fallen heroes of the 1971 Liberation War by laying a wreath at the altar of Shikha Anirban in Dhaka Cantonment.

"Gen Narawane on 1st day of his 5-day visit to #Bangladesh paid tributes to the martyrs of the Liberation War at the #ShikhaAnirban today," the ADG PI said.

He was welcomed with a guard of honour at Senakunj.

He will also be visiting various military stations in Bangladesh.

The Indian Army Chief will share his experience during the seminar on United Nations Peace Support Operations. He will also witness the culmination exercise, hardware display and closing ceremony of the joint military exercise 'Shantir Ogroshena', a multilateral UN-mandated counter-terrorism exercise from April 4 to 12.

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh, the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistan and the birth centenary of 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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