The first India-Uzbekistan Joint Exercise, ‘Dustlik 2019’, took off at Tashkent, the Uzbek capital, in the presence of the Union Defence Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, and his Uzbek counterpart, Major General Bakhodir Nizamovich Kurbanov.
The ten-day drill starting November 4-19 is being conducted at Chirchiq Training Area near Tashkent where the armies from both countries train alongside each other. And, will also share best practices and experiences between the Armed Forces of the two countries which will lead to greater operational effectiveness.
Displaying India’s increasing strategic reach an Indian Air Force (IAF) C-130 aircraft airlifted Indian Army troops from Jamnagar to Tashkent. The next edition of Ex- Dustlik will be conducted in India in 2020. Before departing for Russia for the India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) in Moscow from November 5-7, mr. Singh who is in Uzbekistan called for isolating nations adopting terrorism as a state policy.
Identifying `Military-Technical Cooperation’ as an area of huge potential, Mr. Singh offered to help in the modernisation and capacity building of the forces of that country. New Delhi has already offered to develop a state-of-the-art IT complex in Armed Forces Academy of Uzbekistan for the benefit of their soldiers. At the end of his talks with his counterpart, both sides inked an MoU for military medicine to Uzbekistan.
With growing Chinese presence in the region, relations with Uzbekistan is important for India’s security, connectivity and counter-terrorism efforts. Last year the two countries had announced that they will work together for a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan which is beneficial for the region.