India, Kazakhstan to boost defence and military cooperation

India and the Central Asian nation renewed their partnership during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s three-day visit to Astana, Kazakhstan at the invitation of her Kazakh counterpart, Nurlan Yermekbayev

October 4, 2018

Talks during the occasion focussed on a wide range of issues related to defence and military technology, as well as on the progress that the bilateral relationship has made since the renewal of an agreement on defence cooperation in January 2017

India and Kazakhstan defence partnership includes military-technical cooperation, military training, joint military exercises, bilateral cadet exchange programs; Over 200 Kazakh Defence Forces personnel have undergone military training in India

India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Kazakhstan in August 2018 to strengthen India’s external outreach; Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Kazakhstan in 2015 as well as in 2017 for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit

Kazakhstan is India’s largest trade and investment partner in Central Asia, with trade valued at around US$1 billion in 2017-18; Bilateral fields of interest include trade and investment, energy, defence and security, pharma, information and technology

Governments of India and Kazakhstan have agreed to further bolster bilateral defence and military cooperation. The latest agreement was adopted during Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s three-day visit to Astana, Kazakhstan, starting October 2 at the invitation of her Kazakh counterpart, Nurlan Yermekbayev. The visit provided a platform for discussions between the Indian delegation and the Kazakh leadership, including Minister of Defence Mr Yermekbayev, and the Minister of Defence and Aerospace Industry, Beibut Atamkulov. Talks during the occasion focussed on a wide range of issues related to defence and military technology, as well as on the progress that the bilateral relationship has made since the renewal of an agreement on defence cooperation in January 2017.

India and Kazakhstan defence partnership includes military-technical cooperation, military education and training, joint military exercises, bilateral exchanges and cadet exchange programs. AS a result, Over 200 Kazakh Defence Forces personnel have undergone military training in India so far. Both nations also conducted a joint military exercise ‘KAZIND-2018’ in Kazakhstan last month. The growing relation has been facilitated by a strong strategic partnership brought about by a number of high-profile visits in the recent time. In August, India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Kazakhstan as part of a three-nation tour of Central Asia to strengthen India’s external outreach. At the time, Ms Swaraj met with Kazakh leadership, including Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev.

Bilateral ties between India and Kazakhstan have also been bolstered by the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Kazakhstan in 2015 as well as through his visit to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in June 2017. Kazakhstan is India’s largest trade and investment partner in Central Asia, with trade valued at around US$1 billion in 2017-18. There remains strong potential for growth in bilateral trade and investment given the fast development of both nations. Topics discussed during the recent visits have included cooperation in trade and investment, energy, defence and security, pharma, information and technology, joint film production, tourism and cultural contacts. The countries have also partnered on multilateral platforms, including UN peacekeeping forces.

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