Pune: India will continue to work with African nations to promote regional security, foster stability and enhance the defence capabilities together, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on March 28 during the first edition of India-Africa Chiefs’ Conclave.
Aimed at the central theme of ‘Africa-India Militaries for Regional Unity – AMRUT, the conclave organised on the sidelines of second Africa-India Joint Exercise ‘AFINDEX’ in Pune, focused on boosting and improving synergy between militaries of India and African nations as part of a regional cooperation mechanism.
The Defence Minister said, “India is committed to provide support to African partner countries in defence matters, including enhancement of the capability of their Armed Forces.”
Stressing that the full potential of a nation’s progress can be realized only when its security is ensured, the Defence Minister highlighted the need to build robust state structures which can cater to the needs and aspirations of the people.
“Development can only take place in a safe and secure environment. Though many of us have come a long way since our independence, there are many African countries where the capacity building of state systems is still a work in progress,” he said.
Defence Minister Singh said that the joint exercise between India and African countries roll out an excellent opportunity for the Armed Forces to learn from each other, and added that the term ‘INDEX reflects India’s focus on African nations to develop capacities and increase mutual capabilities.
“As maritime neighbours connected by the Indian Ocean, our cooperation in maritime security and hydrography and countering terrorism will be essential for regional peace and prosperity,” said Rajnath Singh.
He stated that the India-Africa partnership drives the South-South cooperation to build a truly multi-polar world order which is more responsive to the aspirations of developing countries.
“We are united by the common goals of eradicating poverty, achieving sustainable development, promoting peace & harmony and improving the quality of life of the people,” he said underlining the India-Africa ties.
Billed to be a major landmark in deep-rooted defence ties between India and African nations, the conclave focussed on joint training and defence cooperation amongst the nations to enhance collaboration in the fields of joint military training and execution of peacekeeping.