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Antony in Saudi Arabia to uplift defence ties

Defence Minister A K Antony is visiting Saudi Arabia to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues in the defence sector.



Dubai: A high-profile delegation led by
Defence Minister A K Antony is visiting Saudi Arabia to
discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues, especially
the possibilities of cooperation in the defence sector.

Anthony will meet Saudi Arabia`s Defence Minister Prince
Salman on Tuesday. He will be accompanied by Defence Secretary
Shashi K Sharma, Vice Chief of Army Staff S K Singh, Deputy
Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Satish Soni and Air Vice
Marshal M R Pawar.

A special plane carrying Antony and his delegation will
land in Riyadh, an Indian Embassy official told on Monday.

India and Saudi Arabia have not endorsed any defence
agreement so far but have been having regular exchanges of
defence related visits and interactions.

In Riyadh, Antony will discuss with top Saudi officials
possibilities for bolstering defence ties, military-to-
military relations apart from the issue of terrorism and
piracy in the region, a statement released by India`s Ministry
of Defence said.

The embassy official said Antony will hold discussions
with some senior Saudi officials with an aim to pave the way
for enhanced defence interaction, especially in areas of
training and technical exchanges.

The visit is expected to enable both sides to engage in
discussions on "areas where existing cooperation can be
expanded to mutual benefit."

Antony will also be interacting with the representatives
of Indian community in Saudi Arabia, said the embassy
official.

A defence delegation from India also visited Riyadh in
October last year and expressed a keen interest to build
strong bilateral military ties based on the new strategic
realities of Asia and the changing political alliances in the
Middle East.

PTI

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