India and Kazakhstan agreed to step up their cooperation in the defence and military Technical sector. The agreement came after Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her counterpart Nurlan Yermekbayev during her three-day visit to Kazakhstan capital Astana from October 02.
Sitharaman also met her Kazakh counterpart and Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry Beibut Atamkulov and discussed a wide range of issues relating to defence and military technical cooperation. They also took stock of the progress that the bilateral relationship has made since the renewal of the MoU on defence cooperation in January 2017.
India and Kazakhstan Defence Cooperation includes military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchange of visits and cadet youth exchange programs. Over 200 Kazakh Defence Forces Personnel have undergone military training in India till date.
The two nations successfully conducted a company level joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in South Kazakhstan, last month. India and Kazakhstan are bound by historical and cultural ties and this has laid a strong foundation for the multifaceted cooperation. Both countries are Strategic Partners since 2009.
Nirmala Sitharaman also discussed issues relating to defence production with Atamkulov. The possibilities of joint production were discussed based upon the relative strengths and experience of both sides. She also discussed regional developments with the Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov. The Kazakhstan FM appreciated India’s position and experience as a major force in UN Peace Keeping and contributor peace building in various parts of the world under the UN mandate.
Moreover, Sitharaman invited the Minister of Defence, Nurlan Yermekbayev and Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry, Beibut Atamkulov to visit India and to attend the Aero India 2019, to be held in Bengaluru in February 2019.