Wed, 31 May 2023

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], March 29 (ANI): Chief of Army Staff General Manoj Pande on Wednesday said that India recognizes the need to collaborate with the African defence industry.

Army Chief Manoj Pande in his address at the culmination of the Africa-India Field Training Exercise (AFINDEX- 2023) mentioned that India's defence industry has displayed its potential.

While speaking at the event at Foreign Training Node, Aundh, Pune, the Army Chief said, "The Indian defence industry has displayed its potential and we recognise the need for joint collaboration, co-development, co-production with the African defence industry to meet our common requirement".

He said that the AFINDEX-23 focuses on several dimensions of UN peacekeeping operations.

"AFINDEX 23 field training exercise focused on aspects of UN peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief," he said.

Appreciating the professionalism of the African nations, Army Chief General Manoj Pande said that India holds them in very high regard.

"Over the past 2 weeks this period has enabled us and been of immense value to get to know about various procedures, techniques, tactics and operations which will facilitate interoperability," he said.

"During the chief's conclave, yesterday provided us with an excellent opportunity to interact with each other and we will be able to learn from the African experience in terms of common security management of crisis situations. The discussion during the last two days have been very beneficial and further strengthen our defence cooperation with African nations," he added.

The Army Chief said that the two events conducted will infuse greater energy and vigour between India and Africa.

"In the end, I also wish to say that there is the greatest scope for enhancement of defence cooperation between India and African nations and this exchange - with these two events I am confident that it will infuse greater energy and vigour between us," he said.

Maximum use of indigenous equipment was made during the exercise. New generation equipment manufactured in India will be showcased during the exercise to give a feel of their efficacy to the troops of the participating nations.

The joint exercise is conducted in keeping with India's outreach to Africa, which commenced in 2008 through the India-Africa Summit and has been thereafter held in 2015 and 2019.

The exercise addressed the theme of United Nations peacekeeping operations. The exercise was spread over two weeks varying the initial four days dedicated to the training traders. After the arrival of all 124 participants, representing 26 countries, the initial phase of interactive sessions, covering a wide range of subjects on peacekeeping and humanitarian mind action was conducted. (ANI)

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