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Rajnath Singh to represent PM at SCO meet in Uzbekistan

ndia and Uzbekistan are also set to carry out a joint military exercise next week. ‘Dustlik-2019’, the first such exercise between the armies.

Updated: Oct 29, 2019, 09.34 AM IST
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India and Uzbekistan will carry out a joint military exercise next week. ‘Dustlik-2019’, the first-ever exercise between the armies of the two nations, will be held from November 4 to 13 at Chirchiq training area in Uzbekistan. It will focus on counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist operations in mountainous, rural and urban areas.

“For the first time in the history of India and Uzbekistan, a joint field training exercise called Dustlik is being conducted as part of military diplomacy between the two nations,” an official said. “The aim of the exercise is to build and promote positive relations between the armies of India and Uzbekistan.”

A 45-member Indian Army contingent will participate in the exercise. The troops have been put through a strenuous training schedule, including firing, heliborne operations, combat conditioning, tactical operations and house intervention drills. They will reach the exercise venue on November 3 for ‘operational orientation’, the official said.

As part of the exercise, the Indian Army will conduct training on cordon and search operations, room intervention and mobile vehicle check post. Their Uzbek counterparts will be trained on tactical drills and survival techniques in mountains and deserts. The drill will end with a 24-hour simulation under actual operational conditions.

In Uzbekistan, the Indian contingent will meet defence minister Rajnath Singh, who will be visiting the nation from November 1 to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State meeting, where he will represent Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India is a member of the SCO, along with China and Pakistan.

Singh will also have a meeting with Uzbekistan’s defence minister. Both sides will discuss military cooperation, officials said. They are also keen on concluding discussions on two pacts on military education and cooperation and military medicine. Singh will return to India on November 3.

Meanwhile on Monday, Singh met the chiefs of the army, air force and navy. Officials said he reviewed the security situation along India’s borders with a focus on Jammu and Kashmir. The ceasefire violations along the line of control was also discussed.

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