Kazakhstan, India hold bilateral defence talks

ANI | Updated: Nov 11, 2017 16:06 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov.11 (ANI): India and Kazakhstan reviewed bilateral defence cooperation engagement between the two countries recently.

During the bilateral meetings, both sides discussed several issues of common interest, examined the current state of bilateral relations in the military sphere and prospects for development and deepening of military-technical cooperation.

The Kazakh delegation at the talks was led by the country's Deputy Defence Minister Lieutenant General Talgat Mukhtarov. He was assisted by Ambassador of Kazakhstan to India Bulat Sarsenbayev.

The visiting dignitary called on India's Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and held meetings with Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra and Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, General Bipin Rawat.

India and Kazakhstan have developed close collaboration in fighting religious terrorism an extremism, as well as in promoting regional security. India's recent ascension to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic, and security organisation, is being seen as a move by New Delhi to reinvigorate its Eurasian geopolitics engagement.

According to a recent article published by The Diplomat, "The potential for expanded military cooperation between Kazakhstan and India is yet another benefit of India's membership in the SCO. Kazakhstan recognises it is overly reliant on Russian military equipment and support while India is in dire need of international customers as it establishes a military-industrial complex. Mixing arms and trade deals will benefit the security and economic situations of all parties."

The article further states that both "India and Kazakhstan are well positioned to increase lower level joint military exercises, such as the 2016 Prabal Dostyk 16 anti-terror exercise."

It says that under the SCO, "these small exercises could take on a new level of legitimacy and allow India to engage with Kazakhstan militarily without raising the ire of Russia or China."

"With the United States' withdrawal from the region and Europe's occupation with internal issues, India's military cooperation and security assistance is the boon Kazakhstan needs as pressure from Russia and China increases," the article in The Diplomat claims.

India currently offers training to Kazakh military officers. Both nations have also developed joint military-industrial projects and established a partnership between the defence industries of India and Kazakhstan. India has also provided support and has emerged as a partner in Kazakhstan's bid to develop a naval fleet in the Caspian Sea, despite opposition from Kazakhstan's northern neighbour, Russia. (ANI)