Army Vice Chief leaves on 3-day visit to Nigeria

India and Nigeria are expected to boost their defence cooperation during a three-day visit of Army Vice Chief Lt Gen P C Bhardwaj to the African nation.

New Delhi: India and Nigeria are expected to
boost their defence cooperation during a three-day visit of
Army Vice Chief Lt Gen P C Bhardwaj to the African nation.

Bhardwaj, who left for today, will be in Nigeria till
July 7, an Army spokesperson said here.

During his visit, Lt Gen Bhardwaj will meet senior
officials of the Nigerian armed forces and attend that
country`s Army Day celebrations.

In his interaction with senior military officials there,
the vice chief will discuss enhancing of military cooperation
to further cement the ties between India and Nigeria, the
spokesman said.

"India has historic and traditional relations with
Nigeria. The similarities in colonial struggle, ethnic
diversity and geo-political situations have created affinity
and goodwill between the two countries," he said.

Noting that defence cooperation was an important tool
towards enhancing the friendship, he said the relationship
between the two countries had been elevated to strategic
partnership through `Abuja Declaration` during the visit of
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2007.

"An impetus was provided to the defence cooperation by
signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence
Cooperation," he added.

The defence cooperation with Nigeria began in 1963 and
the Indian armed forces have contributed significantly in
laying the foundation of various training establishments of
the Nigerian armed forces from 1963 to 1986.

The defence forces of the two nations have been
comprehensively cooperating in the field of military training
and United Nations Peacekeeping Training.

PTI

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